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How to buy Dungeness crab: According to Sinclair Philip of the Sooke Harbour House Inn in Victoria, it’s best to purchase crab that’s still alive. (Just watch out for the claws; always handle a live crab from the back of the shell.) A live crab should be stored in the fridge (this will help to ease its feistiness before you boil it), but don’t freeze it and never put it in fresh water; that’s sure to kill it.Steve Krug/The Globe and Mail

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How to buy pickerel: Make sure that the pickerel’s scent is fresh and that the flesh feels firm to the touch, says Nigel Finley, the Nova Scotia-born chef at Catch, a new sustainable-seafood restaurant in Toronto. Store in the refrigerator and consume within 24 hours of bringing it home.Steve Krug/The Globe and Mail

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How to buy oysters: Nicholas Budreski of Canesp Global Distributions, S.L, in Halifax distributes hand-picked and graded shellfish to fine restaurants and sushi establishments throughout Nova Scotia. When purchasing oysters, he says, look for tightly closed shells with a deeply cupped shape (the deeper the cup, the more meat you‘ll find inside).Steve Krug/The Globe and Mail

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