Queen Scallops - or 'Queenies' - from Manx waters are renowned as a seafood delicacy. A medium-sized member of the scallop family, the Queen Scallop (Aequipecten opercularis) has a shell of roughly 7cm in diameter. The mollusc feeds on plankton and is mostly found in 40m below the surface, though it has been found in much deeper waters.
King and Queen Scallops are now the mainstay commercial catch of the Manx fishing fleet. Stringent government restrictions on scallop dredging have historically ensured that Queenie stocks remain healthy from year to year, but recently the island is facing a shortage in supply.
Smaller and sweeter than King Scallops, Queenies are available all year round. They are a popular feature on the menu in Manx restaurants, and are most commonly served with garlic, herbs and lemon, and sometimes chopped bacon. The Island's first Queenie festival was held in August 2008, culminating in a Marine Day ('Festival of the Sea') in Port St Mary, and it has now become a popular annual event.