Shellfish is a culinary term for some aquatic invertebrates used as food: molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. It is not a scientific term, and its use may vary from place to place.
Both saltwater and freshwater invertebrates are considered shellfish. Molluscs commonly used as food include the clam, mussel, oyster, winkle, and scallop.
Some crustaceans commonly eaten are the shrimp, prawn, lobster, crayfish, and crab.
Echinoderms are not eaten as commonly as molluscs and crustaceans. In Asia, sea cucumber and sea urchins are eaten.
Edible cephalopods such as squid, octopus, and cuttlefish and terrestrial snails, though all molluscs, are sometimes considered to be shellfish and sometimes not.
The term finfish is sometimes used to distinguish ordinary (vertebrate) fish from shellfish.
Jewish and Islamic dietary laws forbid the eating of shellfish (those that live on the land, and in the water).
In Japanese cuisine, chefs often use shellfish and their roe. Sushi and sashimi feature both raw and cooked shellfish.
- Shellfish News Archived 2006-08-30 at the Wayback Machine
- Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory Archived 2007-02-05 at the Wayback Machine at Rutgers University
- Shellfish Gallery Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine from the Shellfish Association of Great Britain
- Shellfish Facts Archived 2007-02-26 at the Wayback Machine
- University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections -- Freshwater and Marine Image Bank -- Shellfish[permanent dead link] An ongoing digital collection of images related to shellfish.