The scallop is a popular local delicacy in townships in the Taninthayi Region, where long and wide coastlines exist, being prepared and sold as a variety of seafood from neighbouring Thailand.
Locally known as Shat, various kinds of scallops can be found along the mouth of Pulaw creek in Pulaw Township, Kyel, Kyauk Kan Phe and Min Ka Kyel as well as in the muddy and sandy beaches in Myeik, Bokpyin and Kawthoung townships, Taninthayi Region. Unlike fish, the scallops do not hatch or reproduce individually. They grow only in loamy soils with a mixture of silt and sand, with the mucus inside the husk. Their reproduction rate is swift, and fishers collect them for the family or to sell them.
The location of collecting them varies depending on the unstable weather conditions and the tide. However, they can be collected all year round. On some days, it can be done twice a day and sometimes once a day, depending on the tide. There are various methods for collecting scallops. Commercial collectors use a small boat and a shovel to collect them under the deep sea underwater, which is around a man’s height, to export to Thailand. Local self-employed scallop collectors collect them on the sandy beaches at low tide.
Local people eat scallops, which is dried, fermented, boiled, steamed or grilled. It can also be made with a variety of home-cooked dishes and cooked with Thai spices at hotels and restaurants. It is reported that scallops that are rich in vitamins and protein are not abundant in any coastal region apart from Taninthayi Region. — Kyaw Soe(Kawthoung)/GNLM