Farm-Raised Vs Wild Caught Scallops: Which Seafood is Best?

Which is best, farm-raised vs wild caught Scallops?

Wild caught scallops are better than farm-raised scallops because they have better taste and texture. Although farm-raised scallops are a good alternative because for health, nutrition and safety, both versions are similar and have equal benefits. Farm-raised are more environmentally safe because it prevents the decimation of the wild caught scallop population.

We are going to take an in-depth look at this topic, so, keep reading.

Farm-raised Scallops

As a Certified Health Coach many clients ask me about seafood comparisons including scallops. Also, I purchase and consume it every month. Therefore, I have researched this topic in the past and present. Let’s examine the different types closely.

scallops cooked in a pan.
Cooking scallops

Farm-Raised Scallops: What are they?

The Scallops are kept in large bodies of water with suspension nets. There, they reproduce and live as they usually would. The suspension nets are used so that the bottom of their ecosystem does not get damaged.

Where are the Scallops farmed?

The large majority of Scallop farming takes place in China but the US has a few of its own. In fact, if you live in the United States, your Scallops are farmed locally. Maine, USA has actually been touted as having a bright future in Scallop farming 1. 

The benefits of Farm-Raised Scallops 

When making comparisons between anything, we need to talk about the benefits that something has. Now we are going to go through a small list of benefits that Farm-raised Scallops have.

  • They are environmentally friendly.
  • They have made Scallops more affordable.
  • Scallops are now more accessible. 
  • They taste great.

If it were not for Scallop farming, we are at risk of decimating the wild Scallop population. There are still ocean dredgers that harvest wild Scallops. If it were not for Scallop farms, there would be a lot more of these dredgers.

Farming the Scallops has also cut the cost of harvesting them. This makes it more accessible and affordable for the average person.

Farm raised scallop farm.
Scallop farm

Wild Caught Scallops

Basically, wild Scallops are exactly the same except that they are harder to get. They might have a slightly different flavor and taste better than farm-raised Scallops but not much better.  

Wild Scallops can be found in almost all the oceans 2. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. They are caught by ocean dredgers which is a ship that scrapes the ocean floor.

If a place sells wild Scallops, chances are they have a wider variety of Scallops available. This depends on who their supplier is and where the supplier harvests the Scallops from.

Farm-raised Scallops Vs Wild Caught Scallops: The verdict 

Which of the two are best? Well, Each has its benefits but there can only be one winner. Let’s get into it. 

The taste

While there isn’t actually a major difference, wild caught Scallops do win this round. I need to add that Farm-raised Scallops are not that different from wild Scallops.

Unlike fish who swim around the ocean, a Scallop normally embeds itself into the ocean floor. This means that there isn’t much of a change from their original habitat to the farm.

Still, wild Scallops have a slightly better taste and texture.


This is where the Farm-raised Scallop wins. There is no need to decimate the Scallop population when you can control the number of Scallops destined for consumption.

Cooked scallops on a plate.
A scallop dish for dinner


As we mentioned at the start of the article, both Farm-raised and wild Scallops contain mercury that is a byproduct of pollution. None of them win this one but we all lose. 


None of them win this one. It does not matter if the Scallop was Farm-raised or wild. They are a healthy food to eat provided you are not allergic. I find Scallops to be a great choice for anyone who is on a diet. The low fat and high protein count actually make the Scallop perfect for the Keto diet.

As long as you prepare the Scallop in a way that promotes good health, this is healthy food to eat 3.


You will pay more for wild caught Scallops 4. Most people in the west can still only get wild Scallops from a premium store and/or restaurant. Farm-raised Scallops are more affordable. So, Farm-raised wins this one.

Since we’re comparing fish vs fish, have you ever wondered if frozen or canned Salmon is better? You may want to check out this article next, Frozen Salmon vs. Canned Salmon: Which is Healthier?

If you have any questions to ask me about this article don’t hesitate to comment below or email us. You can find an email on our contact page.

Read Next – More Food vs. Food Articles!

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Organic Mango vs. Conventional Mango: Which is Better?

Organic Flaxseed vs. Non-Organic Flaxseed: Which is Better?

What are Scallops: Species and Nutrients

  1. NPR: Maine Lobstermen Give Farming Sea Scallops A Try[]
  2. Ocean Conservancy: Wildlife Fact Sheets: Sea Scallop[]
  3. FDA: Selecting and Serving Fish and Frozen Seafood Safely[]
  4. Colorado State University: Wild caught vs. farm raised seafood[]

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