Seafood Facts

Some interesting and fun facts to throw into the conversation ….

How to tell the sex of a Crab

The underside of the male crab has a V shaped marking while the female does not. See the photos below which show the difference between the male and female underside.

Lobster History

Up until the mid 19th Century lobster was originally only used for bait and for fertiliser for fields.

It was classed as a poor mans food.

The threads that attach mussels to rocks, ropes etc have got a very strong adhesive quality which will even cling to Teflon. Scientists are attempting to develop a mussel based adhesive for use in eye surgery and other applications.


Lobsters with no claws are called pistols, bullets or dummies

Lobsters with one claw are called culls

They can grow back claws, legs and antennae


A scallop can swim along by opening and closing it’s shell

The size of the mussel varies with the season. They are largest and fleshiest in October and smallest in March.

The longevity of mussels varies widely based on the particular species. Some have an average of lifespan of only 2 years while others frequently live to the ripe old age of 50.

Why do lobsters, crabs & prawns go red when cooked?


Lobsters, crabs and prawns have a carotenoid pigment called astaxanthin in their shells. They also have other pigments which combined give these shellfish their bluey, greeny and brown colourings – all perfect for disguise.

When lobsters, crabs and prawns are cooked and the shells get hot the astaxanthin remains stable while the other pigments break down resulting in the vibrant red colouring.

Astaxanthin is the same pigment that makes a salmon pink.

The male crab has much larger claws than the female crab (the picture on the left shows the male at the bottom – he has one of his claws tucked in.)

Clams and oysters are simple to open, if first washed with cold water, then placed into a plastic bag and kept in the freezer for one-half hour.

It is said that oysters and other shellfish should be eaten only in months with an “r” in them.  This is actually a myth as in fact, due to commercial farming and harvesting, oysters are safe year round. In fact, any commercially available shellfish is safe to eat through out the year.

You can tell the approximate age of a salmon by counting the number of rings on its scales.

The Starfish is not actually a fish at all and is a member of the Echinoderm family

Remarkable Flatfish Eyes!

When a flatfish egg hatches, it’s larvae look very much like other fish larvae. Their eyes are on opposite sides of their head and they swim vertically. As they develop one of their eyes moves upwards and over the top of the head until it sits next to the other eye.

Lobsters and crabs shed their shells in order to grow.

A lobster will have shed it’s shell up to 25 times by the time it is 6 years old.

After 6 or 7 the males shed their shells every year and the females shed their shells every two years.

The exposed new shell is soft and they are known as ‘soft shells’

It takes up to 2 months for the new shell to harden

Mussels are either male or female – on some species it is very difficult to tell the difference without a microscope. However males tend to have paler meat while the females are more orange.

When a mussel attaches to a rope or rock it then stays in the same place for the rest of it’s life.

A lobsters teeth are in it’s stomach!

Lobsters are cannibals which is why the pincers are tied with a band. If this wasn’t done they would happily eat each other!The bands help to prevent the lobster doing us humans any damage too.

Scallops have up to 60 eyes!

Red Gurnard

In past times these fish were either thrown back or used as bait by fishermen!