Sea Scallops From Maine
Sea scallops from Maine are prized for their sweet, tender, and delicate flavor. They are coveted around the world for their use in sushi and cooking.
Scallops are sold to consumers through high-end restaurants and seafood retailers. The market for this product is small but growing slowly.
Sea scallops (Plactopecten magellanicus) are harvested in various ways off the coast of Maine. In the Gulf of Maine, dredges and trawls are used to harvest scallops from offshore areas.
In the mid-Atlantic, diver scallops are also caught by hand. This is called a “diver” scallop harvest and is regarded as more eco-friendly because it’s done with a SCUBA diver and not a larger boat, reducing the amount of energy needed for harvesting.
Scallops are a delight to the taste buds, whether raw as sushi grade or lightly broiled for delicate sauces. They’re also a healthy seafood option, providing a low-fat, high-protein source of vitamin B12 and selenium.
The scallop fishery is a unique aquaculture industry in Maine. It offers new opportunities for small businesses and helps create resilient communities. It’s a relatively young form of aquaculture, but it is developing rapidly. A 2021 report found that it has the potential to be a significant contributor to the economy.
Sea scallops are one of America’s most valuable fisheries. Traditionally, they’ve been targeted by deep-sea draggers and divers on dayboats. However, a new industry is starting to emerge in Maine — aquaculture.
In aquaculture, scallops are raised in a closed system where they are fed a special feed and watered daily. They’re also cleaned and packaged without chemical additives.
Compared to a seasonal fishery, scallop farming has the advantage of a year-round supply and steady pricing. And since it’s a more efficient way to harvest scallops, it allows fishermen to focus on other parts of the coast during the winter.
Developing an aquaculture industry can be a great way to diversify the seafood harvesting business, and it can also help fishermen remain employed as they face climate change and other threats. The sea scallop aquaculture community in Maine is made up of a variety of people and organizations, including fishermen farmers, marine extension programs, community development financial institutions, and research and outreach foundations.
Sea scallops come in a variety of packaging options. They can be frozen or refrigerated and are often vacuum sealed.
Wild Maine scallops can be found in both individual quick frozen (IQF) retail packs and value-added convenience products. They are available in a variety of sizes, including petite to jumbo.
These premium varieties of scallops are harvested in the ocean and are not treated with preservatives or chemicals to make them plump, tender, sweet, and delicious. They have a naturally creamy white color and are the perfect Atlantic seafood delicacy.
Before cooking, blot the dry scallops with paper towels to remove any excess moisture before placing them in a pan. When searing, it’s important to cook them for the right amount of time and to always check the internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer.
Sea scallops have a delicate, sweet flavor and an ocean-fresh scent. They are low in calories and high in protein (23 grams per 100 grams) and important vitamins and minerals.
The best way to cook scallops is to use a very hot pan and sear them quickly. When the pan is screaming hot, add butter or oil and then the scallops. Don’t move them, otherwise, they won’t cook through.
Dry scallops sear much better than wet ones, which have been injected with water or additives to plump them up. They also won’t sear as well when cooked on a home stove because the treatment makes them soft, which prevents them from developing a golden crust.
Maine scallops are harvested only in state waters, so they should only be available fresh between December 1 and April 15. Touge said the Department of Marine Resources manages them to preserve the scallop population.