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Can freshwater fish, crayfish, etc. still be referred to as seafood or is there a special term?

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  • Think about a menu that divides things up into Meat, Fowl, Fish, Seafood. Where do you think they put crayfish, Astacus fluviatilis? Under seafood, of course.
    – tchrist
    Feb 14, 2012 at 13:42

2 Answers 2

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In common usage seafood is any "edible aquatic life" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seafood Also a lot of seafood is grown in "farms" so we may have to invent a new term for sea/river/tank foods!

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  • That link says "Seafood is any form of marine life, regarded as food by humans." The marine life page refers to "organisms in the ocean or other marine, or brackish bodies of water", marine being "applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean" and brackish "water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater". It appears that your reference effectively excludes freshwater fish. Feb 14, 2012 at 5:36
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    The last sentence in the first paragraph says "In North America, although not generally in the United Kingdom, the term "seafood" is also applied also to fresh water organisms eaten by humans, so all edible aquatic life may be referred to as seafood."
    – SidJ
    Feb 14, 2012 at 5:53
  • The answer is rather misleading. It would be better to quote wikipedia verbatim in the answer:
    – Kris
    Feb 14, 2012 at 6:11
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    Wikipedia "Seafood is any form of marine life regarded as food by humans. Seafoods include fish, molluscs (octopus and shellfish), crustaceans (shrimp and lobster), echinoderms (sea cucumber and sea urchins). Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia (see the category of sea vegetables). In North America, although not generally in the United Kingdom, the term "seafood" is also applied also to fresh water organisms eaten by humans, so all edible aquatic life may be referred to as seafood."
    – Kris
    Feb 14, 2012 at 6:12
  • The common use of seafood is only certain animals and never plants, specifically containing only fish and invertebrates. It’s no surprise that in the UK where no one lives further than 70 miles from the sea, seafood has a more literal meaning than in North America, which has continent-spanning tracks of land. English-language menus translated into Spanish will list Pescado y Mariscos (fish and seafood), and this includes things like freshwater mussels and crayfish. Trying telling someone from New Orleans that crawdads (Astacus fluviatilis) aren’t seafood and watch how far it gets you.
    – tchrist
    Feb 14, 2012 at 13:36
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Yes. This article on Britannica online explains.

ARTICLE from the Encyclopædia Britannica

seafood
edible aquatic animals, excluding mammals, but including both freshwater and ocean creatures.

Seafood comprises all bony fishes and the more primitive sharks, skates, rays, sawfish, sturgeons, and lampreys; crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs, shrimps, prawns, and crayfish ; mollusks, including clams, oysters, cockles, mussels, periwinkles, whelks, snails, abalones, scallops, and limpets; the cephalopod mollusks—squids, octopuses, and cuttlefish; edible jellyfish; sea turtles; frogs; and two echinoderms—sea urchins and sea cucumbers.

[Emphasis mine.]

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    It also excludes birds. A penguin may be a marine creature, but it would be fowl, not seafood.
    – tchrist
    Feb 14, 2012 at 13:28
  • @tchrist It was also exactly my thought. I did not mention it so as not to make the issue broader. +1
    – Kris
    Feb 14, 2012 at 14:37

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