Seafood 101:
Fish and Seafood Vocabulary

An exceptional dining experience is often the cornerstone of a night out with your partner, friends, or family. The restaurant and menu options can deliver an outstanding experience you will remember, but finding the right seafood restaurant can be daunting for those with limited knowledge about seafood. Some people stick to foods they know so they understand what to expect. But what if you want to try new foods and still understand how to order your meal so it will satisfy your tastebuds? Some primary education about seafood terms will ensure you’re ready to enjoy a sensational seafood dinner.


Seafood includes shellfish and fish. Mollusks and crustaceans are types of shellfish. Mollusks include animals that live in the water or on land, such as snails, mussels, and squid. Crustaceans, such as crabs and lobsters, can survive in the water or on land. 

Seafood Platter

Indulge in an exceptional seafood dinner at AQUA’s Las Vegas seafood restaurant.

Fish are a standard menu item, and most people can name popular types of fish, such as salmon and tuna. All types of fish share some standard features. They’re cold-blooded vertebrates with a backbone, live underwater, and scales cover their bodies. 

There are also many striking differences between different types of fish. Some live in freshwater and can be found in lakes and rivers. Others live in the sea. There are also differences in their size, color, and taste. Restaurants may opt to serve wild-caught fish from commercial fisheries. Others may turn to supply chains from fish farms. 

Many seafood guides include fish with seafood. This may seem confusing, because some fish come from freshwater environments. Still, all types of fish should be part of your seafood vocabulary.

Freshwater fish

Some popular freshwater fish menu options include the following:

  • Bass: There are several types of freshwater bass, including Australian, largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and striped bass. Freshwater bass has a strong fish taste, one reason saltwater bass is more popular.
  • Catfish: Blue, channel, firewood, and flathead catfish are all freshwater catfish. Catfish is dense, but the flavor is mild, making it a good option for people who don’t favor a strong fish taste.
  • Cod: Freshwater cod options include murray, sleepy, and trout cod. Freshwater cod is flaky, and its flavor ranges from mild to sweet. 
  • Sturgeon: Wild-caught freshwater sturgeon has a richer, tangier flavor than farmed sturgeon, which is mild and sweet. There’s no freshwater fish that’s larger than sturgeon, with Russia’s beluga sturgeon holding the world record. White sturgeon holds the record as North America’s biggest freshwater fish. 
  • Trout: Freshwater trout species include brook, brown, bull, and cutthroat trout. Trout is one of the milder freshwater fish you can enjoy.

Other popular freshwater fish include perch and pike.

Saltwater fish

Some popular fish that come from the sea include the following:

  • Black cod: Although some cod live in freshwater, black cod are saltwater fish that live deep in the Pacific Ocean. They’re a sustainable breed, and there’s no concern about depleting their fish stocks. Like most fish, they taste best fresh. Their meat is buttery and flaky, and their sweet taste is one of the reasons for their popularity.
  • Tuna: Tuna’s flavor and texture depend on how it’s preserved and prepared. It’s a popular canned fish, but canning can produce a fishy taste and oily or papery texture. Fresh tuna has a milder flavor.

Saltwater and freshwater fish

Some fish move between fresh and saltwater environments. There are also types of fish with different species, including some that live in saltwater and others that live in freshwater. This can be confusing for those with a limited seafood education. Still, these fish are categorized as seafood and include the following:

  • Halibut: Halibut is associated with saltwater, although some move between saltwater and freshwater, and there are halibut that stay in freshwater. Its mild taste is comparable to tilapia. Its fish taste isn’t as strong as cod’s.
  • Rainbow trout: Rainbow trout may move between freshwater and saltwater environments or stay in freshwater. While trout has a mild taste, rainbow trout’s flavor is nutty, and its meat is firm.
  • Salmon: Salmon are a popular fish living in saltwater and freshwater environments. You’ll enjoy a rich, creamy taste if you opt for wild-caught salmon, while those features aren’t as strong in farmed salmon. Salmon has a strong fish odor. 

Sole: Sole can be found in fresh and saltwater. Its neutral taste makes it ideal for those who don’t enjoy the fish flavor and makes it easy to blend with other foods.


Popular shellfish menu options include the following:

  • Crab: Crab meat is sweet and salty, with a mild fish taste. There are several types of crab, and the type of crab does affect the flavor and texture.  
  • Lobster: Lobster is a nutrient-rich, sweet seafood option you can enjoy year-round
  • Oysters: An oyster’s taste reflects its habitat, so the taste can vary. They have a mild fish taste; some complement that with an earthy flavor, while others are sweet.
  • Prawns and shrimp: The taste of prawns and shrimp is comparable, although prawns are usually sweeter

Squid: Squid has no fish taste. The meat is sweet. What sets squid apart is the chewy texture it’s known for.

Healthy fish and shellfish FAQ

Your seafood education would be incomplete without touching on health information about fish and seafood. You don’t have to forego nutrition to enjoy a delicious fish or seafood dining experience.

Is seafood healthy?

Seafood is a healthy menu option because of the volume of nutrients. Most seafood is also low in saturated fats. Different seafood menu options offer various benefits. You’ll enjoy a protein-rich meal if you opt for crab and benefit from the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids when you order crab or lobster. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for preventing critical health problems, such as heart disease.

King crab from Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant.

Is cod healthy?

You may wonder if cod is high in mercury or if cod liver oil is good for you. Cod is a protein-rich meat packed with vitamins and minerals. Fortunately, cod is a healthy fish you can enjoy that has low mercury levels, so it’s one of the best options when ordering fish. Cod liver oil is a byproduct of cod and is used as a nutritional supplement. It’s known as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which helps fight cancer and inflammation.

The perfect seafood dining experience

AQUA is one of the restaurants in Resorts World and one of the best seafood restaurants in Nevada. Whether you’re craving mouthwatering Alaskan black cod or a shrimp appetizer, we have exceptional fish and shellfish appetizers and entrees to satisfy your taste buds. We ensure everything from our menu to the atmosphere is second to none.

Come join us for dinner. Seafood and more at AQUA.