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Tasmanian Scallops (Pecten fumatus) Photographs and Information

Also known as Southern Scallop or Commercial Scallop.

Tasmanian scallops have a thin shell, nearly circular and strengthened by radiating ribs.  In life the scallops rest on their paler, more convex lower valve which slightly overlaps the darker, flat or slightly concave upper valve. 

Tasmanian scallops are found in Australia's southern waters from mid New South Wales down and around to mid Western Australia.  They are found to depths of at least 120 metres over bare, soft sand or mud.

Scallops feed by filtering plankton and detritus from the water.  They are preyed upon by starfish and octopus.

Tasmanian scallops are taken commercially in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.  They are caught using box-shaped mud dredges 2m to 3.5m wide.  The dredges may be fitted with teeth.  As the dredge is dragged along the bottom, the teeth dig into the mud, lifting the scallops so that they are caught in the dredge basket.  Each dredge run lasts up to 15 minutes, after which it is lifted and emptied. The boat then reverses direction and fished back the other way. 

Scallops belong to the Pectinidae family. They have fan-shaped bivalve shells with deep ridges that radiate from the hinge. Colours are variable, including brown, orange, yellow, pink or flesh-coloured or a mix of these. The upper valve of the shell is flat, and the lower valve is concave. 

Tasmanian Scallops (Pecten fumatus)

Map of Australia showing where scallops are found

commercial scallop shell photo, pecten fumatus, tasmanian scallop

Saucer scallop roe is always cut off, whereas the roe of commercial scallop is usually left on.

Dried scallops are popular in many parts of Asia.

Did You Know?
The scallop has a patron saint. Saint James wore the shell as his personal emblem, which later became a badge for pilgrims who visited his shrine in the Middle Ages. This is why a popular scallop dish is called Coquille Saint-Jacques.

Scientific Name Pecten fumatus
Location Australia wide
Season May to December
Size Varies
Australian Species Code 00 651001
Taste, Texture Scallop flesh is white and the roe is usually bright orange.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Scallop meat.

Kilojoules 224 (53 calories)
Protein 11.6 g
Cholesterol 102 mg
Sodium 163 mg
Total fat (oil) 0.9 g
Saturated fat 32% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 15% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 53% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 166 mg
Omega-3, DHA 116 mg
Omega-6, AA 21 mg

Photos of Tasmanian Scallops:
Scallops on shell Scallop Meat Roe On Scallops on Shell, on ice

Scallops on shell

Scallop Meat Roe On

Scallops on Shell, on ice


Scallop on half shell with roe

scallop meat without roe

scallops with roe inside scallop shells

Scallop on half shell with roe scallop meat without roe scallops with roe inside scallop shells

Cooking Tasmanian Scallops:

Scallops are strong and rich in flavour with a medium -firm texture. They are popular grilled or barbecued, but avoid overcooking, which causes shrinkage, or the use of too much salt. Grill under a salamander, then drizzle with lime juice and olive oil, or sprinkle with fresh lemon zest and cracked pepper. Combine with coriander, avocado and chilli salsa on a crispy pappadum.

Scallops are tender with a sweet, nutty flavour. The roe is pink with a firm texture when cooked.

Create the perfect party dish by deep frying scallops in a tempura batter and serve with a soy, ginger and garlic dipping sauce, or present a potpourri of deep fried seafood types such as prawns, oysters, mussels, finfish, calamari and scallops with tartare, aioli, remoulade and fresh citrus juices.

Poach scallops in a good court bouillon and use them as studs in a salmon and white finfish terrine for contrasting texture.

Scallop roe also provides excellent flavour for pates, soups or chowders.

Scallops can be used in some recipes as a replacement for crab meat or lobster.




Opening Scallops:
Place scallop on board with flat shell up, insert the point of a strong paring knife between the shells, and run it across the underside of the top shell to sever the internal muscle.  Pull shells apart.  Slide knife under Scallop to free it.   Lift our Scallop and pull off skirt and gut, leaving white Scallop flesh with coral attached.  Remove any dark membrane adhering to Scallop flesh.  Rinse well and drain.  Wash and dry bottom shell to use as a receptacle for cooking and serving Scallops.

How to Thaw Frozen Scallops:
Don't thaw them in the microwave, they are to delicate and you will start to cook them.

The best method for thawing is to place them the refrigerator for 24 hrs, and then rinse lightly before cooking them.

If time doesn't allow for an overnight thaw, place your scallops in a zip-lock bag and run cold water over the bag till they are thawed.

recipe for scallops with orange sauce and jalapeno recipe for sea scallops with zucchini recipe for maple glazed sea scallops recipe for shanghai style sea scallops
Scallops with Orange and Jalapeno Seared Sea Scallops with Zucchini Maple Glazed Sea Scallops Shanghai Sea Scallops

Commercial Fishing for Tasmanian Scallops:

Scallops are harvested by dredging in deep offshore waters. For maximum freshness, all processing is done at sea where they are cut, washed, bagged and stored on ice or frozen at sea.

Sea scallops are commonly harvested with dredges or bottom trawls on gravel, sand, or sand-mud bottoms.
Sea scallops are shucked and chilled on the boats after they are caught, this is due to the fact that they cannot live out of water.

Another way of harvesting scallops is by diving for them. You will often times see "diver scallops" advertised in stores or restaurants. Diver scallops are harvested by hand in about 50 to 100 foot of water and often times in very poor visibility.

Most of the diver scallops you will find will be the larger ones and will be less gritty than dredge harvested scallops.


half shell tasmanian scallops pectin fumatis chilled on ice

Wild and Farmed

Recovery Rate
Flesh with roe (commercial scallop): 20% of total weight (in half-shell), Flesh without roe (saucer scallop): 15% of total weight (in half-shell).

The recovery rate varies depending on the species and roe condition and retention.

The Tasmanian scallop fishery is primarily based on the harvest of the commercial scallop (Pectin fumatus). Although commercial fishers can legally take the doughboy scallop (Mimachlamys asperrimus) and the queen scallop (Equichlamys bifrons), they have virtually no commercial significance in Tasmania.

The scallop fishery is highly regulated, with the Government placing tight control on the management of the fishery. The main management tools include a minimum size limit, closed areas and catch restrictions based on a quota unit system.  This information is from Dept. Primary Industries Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania

Grading can vary by supplier and region. Examples of grading systems for scallops are presented below.

Terminology such as U-100 or U/100 is pronounced under one hundred and refers to the number of scallops per a specified weight (pound or kilogram), in this case fewer than 100 scallops per pound or kilogram. '10-20' is pronounced 'ten twenty' and means that there are from 10 to 20 scallops per pound or kilogram.

Broken scallop meat

Sold without being graded by size

Exporters, Importers & Processors, Wholesale & Agents of Scallops

See also:  Queensland Scallop

More links about Tasmanian Scallops

Dept. Primary Industries Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania - New management plan for the Tasmanian Scallop Fishery, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Commercial Scallop Season, Scallop Catch updates.

Australian Government - Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (PDF file) - Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010/2011

Commonwealth Fisheries Association - The Commonwealth Fisheries Association is committed to ensuring the commercial fishing industry is recognised for its contribution to Australia’s economy, society and environment. CFA achieves this by promoting and advocating the value of the industry and the healthy seafood it provides to the community. Commonwealth wild harvest fisheries are among the best managed and environmentally sustainable fisheries in the world. Our members are committed to managing fisheries for Australia’s food security, community well-being and healthy marine eco-systems.



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