Alaska is home to a type of shellfish called Weathervane scallops, the largest species of sea scallops in the world. Like other species of sea scallops, Weathervane scallops are much larger than bay scallops. Because of their size, Weathervanes are sometimes referred to as giant Pacific scallops.
There’s a lot to appreciate about Weathervane scallops — they’re some of the sweetest, most buttery scallops you can find.
What Do Weathervane Scallops Taste Like?
Weathervane scallops are plump and buttery, with an incredibly sweet flavor. Searing them further enhances their sweetness. Weathervane scallops have a luscious texture that sets them apart from many scallops available on the market. They’re delicious on their own, seasoned very simply.
Wild Alaskan Company sources all-natural, “dry-packed” Weathervane scallops — meaning, they haven’t been treated with common chemical additives to scallops that negatively affect the quality and texture of the shellfish.
How Big Are Weathervane Scallops?
Weathervane scallops can grow to be quite large — nearly the size of the palm of your hand. Keep in mind that as a wild species, there’s wide variation in size ranging from a couple dozen medium-to-large scallops per pound to 10 jumbo scallops per pound.
Compared to Weathervane scallops, other species of sea scallops don’t grow to be as large. They may be small enough so that there’s 30 to 40 scallops per pound. Bay scallops are even smaller, resembling mini marshmallows so that there’s up to 100 very small scallops per pound.
Are Weathervane Scallops Sustainable?
Together with the federal government, the state jointly monitors harvest levels under a special program called the Alaska Scallop Fishery Management Plan. An independent observer is always onboard the fishing vessel to ensure that the fishers are harvesting the Weathervane scallops correctly.
Weathervane scallop fishery beds are fragile seafloor ecosystems that require careful management. Adequate rotation of harvest locations ensures the long-term sustainability of harvests.
Where Are Weathervane Scallops Found?
In Alaska, the largest scallop beds can be found in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. They are found in depths of up to 400 feet, on mud, sand or gravel.
Weathervane scallops are typically harvested along the southern coast of Alaska in Yakutat, Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, Kodiak, the Alaska Peninsula and out in the Bering Sea. The harvest locations differ from year-to-year to help protect the integrity of seafloor ecosystems.
Weathervane scallops are low in fat, high in protein, and naturally sweet. They’re a great source of vitamin D and a good source of potassium.
Nutrition per 4-ounce serving:
Calories: 100 calories
Fat: 1 gram
Protein: 20 grams
Vitamin D: 5 micrograms, or 25% RDI
How to Prepare Weathervane Scallops
Here are some step-by-step guides for how to thaw and cook Weathervane scallops:
- Weathervane Scallops on Pesto Pasta
Where to Buy Weathervane Scallops
Weathervane scallops are a delicacy from Alaskan fisheries, so they may not be easy to find at your local market. You can buy sweet, flash-frozen Weathervane scallops from a trusted online vendor like Wild Alaskan Company, which sources sustainably-harvested scallops in addition to a variety of wild-caught species of fish and shellfish.