so much to sea

Crab, Lobster & Scallops

The rich waters around the islands yield a bountiful harvest of wild shellfish including scallops, lobster and crabs.

Landed within hours of being caught, local processors are committed to ensuring that the freshest shellfish is prepared, packed and delivered direct to the customer, always maintaining superb quality.


Brown crab

  • Mainly caught by creel in Shetland's inshore waters
  • Females (hens) are caught on softer, sandy bottom. They tend to have more rich brown meat.
  • Males (cocks) found on harder, rocky bottoms and they tend to have more of the sweet white meat.
  • They are fished all year round but caught in higher numbers with warmer water temperatures

Did you know? Crabs walk sideways because of the way their legs are attached

Velvet crab

  • Found on rocky substrates down to depths of 25m, tucked away in crevices
  • Do not undertake extensive migrations
  • Velvets get their name from the fine velvety texture of their shell
  • Fast moving and aggressive

Did you know? Once considered a pest species, they have bright red eyes and are sometimes called the Devil or Witch crab.


  • They are invertebrates – protecting themselves with their hard exoskeleton
  • Bottom dwellers – they like to hide on harder rock bottoms and natural reefs and rocks
  • Out of 10,000 eggs it is thought that only 10 will survive
  • They navigate by smell, taste with their feet and listen with their legs

Did you know? They have 10 walking legs and blue blood


  • Scallops and queen scallops are farmed in Shetland's cool, clear waters and are available all year round
  • Surprisingly fast – they swim by rapidly opening and closing their shells
  • Hermaphrodites – they are both male and female
  • Filter feeder – suck and squirt water all day
  • King Scallops can live up to 20 years although they are usually harvested at around 3 - 5 years
  • Once in position scallops will settle down and camouflage themselves on the seabed with a thin layer of sand
  • Scallops can be sold either live in the shell or shelled.

Did you know?
Scallops have 60 - 100 blue eyes which detect light, dark and motion – usually from predators