One of the most popular seafood dishes is scallops. Scallops come in varying sizes and, in particular, are designated as bay and sea scallops in the United States. Similar to oysters, the scallop is also known as a bivalve that grows on the bed of oceans and coastal bays. Each variety is prepared in a multitude of ways and is known for its tender and buttery taste. What you need to know about bay scallops vs sea scallops. 

What Is The Difference Between A Bay Scallop And Sea Scallop

The primary difference between and bay scallop and a sea scallop is the size. When comparing the two side by side, sea scallops are three times larger. 

Due to the differences in size, the bay scallop is prone to overcooking because they are minuscule compared to bay scallops. All varieties of seafood which are overcooked become dry and chewy. Reduce the cooking time for bay scallops vs sea scallops. Generally speaking, the two variations are similar in taste.

Lastly, bay scallops vs sea scallops live in depths significantly different from each other. As a result, the fishing techniques vary. 

Where Do Commerical Fisherman Harvest Bay Scallops

Bay scallops are prominent along the coast of the United States. Anglers catch bay scallops between Massachusets and the Gulf Of Mexico.

These bottom-dwelling bivalves are commercially harvested by dragging a bottom dredge. The dredge picks up and stores the scallops while the device is slowly trolled across the seabed of bays. Recreationally anglers dive and collect scallops or utilize a net and scoop them free from the bottom.

Where Do Commercial Fisherman Harvest Sea Scallops

Unlike the bay scallops, sea scallops have a more limited range. Commercial fishermen harvest sea scallops between Canada and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

When it comes to depth, the sea scallop inhabits the deep cold waters of the Atlantic. Commercial anglers catch sea scallops in depths exceeding 600 feet. 

The capturing of sea scallops requires dredges. Due to the depths, heavy chains allow the dredge to reach the seafloor.

A second fishing method of fishing is scuba diving. Divers swim to the depths and harvest scallops. Pay attention to diver scallops on the seafood restaurant menu. 

What Tastes Better Bay Scallops Vs Sea Scallops

When comparing the taste of bay scallops vs sea scallops, they share similar characteristics but differ in taste and texture.

Bay scallops are both sweet and tender. While we agree bay scallops are tender, properly prepared sea scallops are equally as delicate. 

Sea scallops are more prevalent on restaurant menus because of their robust size compared to bay scallops. The larger scallop is more appealing when placed on a serving plate. 

Overall, the taste is similar. With either, avoid overcooking because scallops become dry and rubbery as compared to moist and tender. 

Where Do You Buy Scallops

Scallops are widely available at seafood markets and grocery stores. Avoid visiting the grocery store, bivalves are available for delivery fresh to your front door.

Nearly every grocery store and fish market orders fresh scallops consistently. Visit your local market or grocery store. When it comes to cost, sea scallops are higher in price when compared to bay scallops. 

The difference in cost between bay scallops and sea scallops is directly related to the method of fishing. Sea scallop commercial fishermen are required to make long runs with specialized equipment compared to bay scallop anglers. 

A second method for sourcing scallops is via the internet. Avoid leaving the comforts of your home and order fresh scallops delivered to your door. We recommend Fulton Fish Market

Which Do You Prefer Bay Scallops vs Sea Scallops

While the two are similar, you may have a preference for one over another. Both are readily available at grocery stores, fish markets, and online. Purchase both bay scallops and sea scallops for a side-by-side comparison. Unfortunately, recreational anglers are unlikely to seak and catch either variation of scallop in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina. When cooking and eating scallops the flavor will bring you back for more.