As much as we like to call ourselves experts on shellfish, we're no encyclopedia. There's so much to know about shellfish that it's hard to have the answer to everything. However, the invention of the Internet has changed everything and even the hardest shellfish questions can be answered.
So, we scoured every nook and cranny for the best information and content out there and have assembled it here for your easy access! Every resource is Pangea-approved -- we use them ourselves, too -- so feel confident using all these resources for your shellfish projects throughout the year!
Basic Shellfish Information
Are you looking for some basic information on shellfish? The FishWatch site has great overviews on many species of shellfish and seafood in general. The profiles go into great detail about the science, farming methods, and even nutrition. This is the holy grail of seafood information. Here are a few direct links:
2. Oyster Variety Summaries
When looking up where an oyster is from, you can simply type the name of the oyster into the search engine, and chances are you'll find results from the two top oyster list sites -- The Oyster Guide and Chef's Resources. Both have great historical facts and location details, but please beware that some numbers may not be up-to-date.
3. The Pangea Shellfish Website
It would be dumb not to put a plug in for our own site. We have a shellfish glossary that defines common industry terms; we have Oysterology® information on all of our oysters; and our blog covers many industry topics and shellfish products in detail. You can click on the "Educational" category on our blog (upper right hand column) to see them all, but below are a few posts that may be most relevant:
The ISSC's site provides a lot of in-depth information on methods, research reports, and is great for the inner-scientist, but what we find most valuable is the updated list of shellfish area closures. This closure list provides details for why an area is closed, and so it's great for communicating product issues with customers.
Companies on this FDA list have been approved to ship shellfish interstate because they have been inspected and currently meet the FDA's sanitation requirements. Make sure your vendors are on this list. There should be a cause for concern if they are located in another state and not on this list.
6. Vibrio Information
If you have been living under a rock and have no idea what vibrio is, the Center for Disease Control has a simple breakdown on vibrio that's perfect for summarizing it to your customers. If you are more interested in the science, East Coast Shellfish Growers Association has a detailed section on vibrio that contains links to other resources. You can always check back here on our blog for vibrio updates as well -- here were the ones from 2014.
7. Growers Associations Sites
Both the Pacific Coast (PCSGA) and East Coast Shellfish Growers Associations (ECSGA) have a wealth of shellfish information on its sites. The PCSGA site may be easier to navigate, but overall, we're huge fans of the Resources, All About Shellfish, and Culinary Guide sections. You'll find some useful info there including production figures, recipes, media links, and even a buying guide.
As a member of the ECSGA, we automatically receive the monthly newsletters, and we love them. Bob Rheault, ECSGA's Executive Director, does an amazing job curating each month's content including industry hot topics, key points on scientific papers, events, and trends. If you're looking to understand the current issues in the shellfish industry, this is one newsletter you need subscribe to.
For beautiful oyster photos, New York oyster guides, and awesome oyster content, you need to check out Julie Qiu's oyster blog. In addition to her oyster profiles (she has tasted over 300 varieties), there's a list of great oyster reads, shucking gear, and lots of tips and oyster know-how's.
9. Food and Wine's "America's Best Oyster Bars" and Recipes
After seeing list after list of "Best Raw Bars" from many sites and publications, we found that Food and Wine got it on point. They include some of Boston's best (we're a little bias) and other classics all around the country. If you're looking for oyster recipes, they've got 19 great ways to prepare oysters from premier chefs. Here are some additional shellfish recipes that are pretty good.
Harbor Island has got this list on lock. It is the most comprehensive oyster event list we have found, and they update it pretty frequently (though 2015 events have not been posted yet). Not only do they list the events by state, they also link to the event pages, so you can get all the event info first-hand!
11. Oyster Gear for Commercial and Personal Use
To have great oysters, you need to shuck and present them well. We think the New Haven-style oyster knife is the most versatile, so we sell them on our site, myoysterknife.com, which we also customize for businesses. In terms of shucking boards and plates, the Littledeer Half Sheller ($39) is beautifully carved from one piece of wood. We're also huge fans of R. Murphy oyster knives. In a Half Shell has a pretty good guide on gear, so check her page out, too.
12. Shellfish Videos
Video is a growing media tool because it jumps out more than words on a page (or screen). With visuals and audio, video can be super impactful for the message you want to convey. Whether you're looking to entertain, educate, or learn, here are some cool shellfish videos to include in your shellfish knowledge library:
- Oyster Filtration Demonstration
- How Oysters Are Made -- *Good overview of process, but not applicable to all oyster farms
- Oyster Farming In PEI Using Tongs
- Digging Razor Clams by Hand
- Digging Razor Clams by Gun
- Diving for Belon Oysters
- Pangea's Video Channel
13. Stock Photos
No one ever wants to see blurry, grainy photos taken from your cell phone or pay exorbitant amounts of money for stock photos. Well guess what, we at Pangea hear you, so we're releasing the following stock photos below for your use! We would definitely appreciate attribution, but feel free to download, edit, and re-purpose them for your projects!
14. Meme Generator
If you're looking for a way to entertain your customers or readers, animated GIFs and memes are a creative way to get your point across (see our "Top 10 Reasons To Be Eating Oysters This Month" post). If you're not technologically savvy or do not have access to Paint, Photoshop, etc., there are many meme generators online that allow you to upload your own custom image and add your own text. Digital news giant, Mashable, has an article with "The 6 Best Tools for Making Memes." Check those sites out for some good starting points.
Maps & Trackers
If you're curious where exactly your oysters are harvested, you can find every state's map of its designated shellfish areas on each state's site. Look at the harvest area code and you should be able to find maps of the area. Since we focus a lot on Massachusetts oysters, we frequent the Mass.gov site a lot. You will be shocked to see how many areas there are in Massachusetts alone. Some harvest areas are so close that the oysters may take on the flavor of the neighboring bay.
16. Weather Trackers
As shellfish growers and shippers, our business depends on the weather, so we track every aspect of it. NOAA's National Weather Service has some great tools for that. If you're as weather-obsessed as we are, check out the NOAA links below:
We hope that these resources will come in handy! Copy it, bookmark it, share it.
Do you have any resources that you swear by that deserves to be on this list? Let us know in the comments!