Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Clams, Atlantic Surf

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SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Clams Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Manila, Razor & Venus Clams, Cockles, Littlenecks, Steamers Worldwide Farmed
Clams Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Manila, Razor & Venus Clams, Cockles, Littlenecks, Steamers Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Clams Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Manila, Razor & Venus Clams, Cockles, Littlenecks, Steamers Aquaculture Stewardship Council Certified Farmed
Clams Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Manila, Razor & Venus Clams, Cockles, Littlenecks, Steamers Canadian Organic Certified Farmed
Clams, Atlantic Surf Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Surf Clams U.S. Atlantic Clam Dredge
Clams, Hard Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Littleneck, Cherrystone & Chowder Clams Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia Rakes, Shovels
Clams, Ocean Quahog Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Quahag & Black Clam U.S. Atlantic Clam Dredge
Clams, Pacific Razor Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Northern Razor & Razor Clam Washington, Oregon, Quinault Nation Hand Harvested
Clams, Softshell/Steamers Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Fryer, Ipswich & Longneck Clams, Steamers Maine, Massachusetts Rakes, Shovels
Geoduck Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Giant, Horseneck, Long Necked & Jumbo Clam, Mirugai Canadian Pacific, Washington Wild
Geoduck Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Giant, Horseneck, Long Necked & Jumbo Clam, Mirugai Canadian Pacific, Washington Farmed
Geoduck Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Giant, Horseneck, Long Necked & Jumbo Clam, Mirugai Canadian Organic Certified Farmed


Atlantic clams, Wild

Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs are a "Good Alternative." Hard clams from North Carolina, Massachusetts, Virginia and Rhode Island and softshell clams from Maine and Massachusetts are a "Best Choice."

Consumer Note

Atlantic surf clams are generally not available for purchase as whole clams, but instead are sold in soups and chowders, as chopped or minced clam meat or breaded clam strips.

Summary

Several species of clam are found along the Atlantic coast from northern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. This recommendation covers four U.S. Atlantic clam fisheries for Atlantic surfclams, ocean quahogs, hard clams and softshell clams.

Clams vary widely by species, from fast growing to extremely slow growing and long lived. The ocean quahog is one of the longest-lived and slowest-growing clams in the world, so careful monitoring of this stock is important.

Whether caught by dredge, or hand-harvesting, bycatch is very low in these clam fisheries. The use of hydraulic dredges is the major concern, as these have impacts on the seafloor, even when used in sandy habitat. The disturbance of sediment can last as long as 40 days, and the dredge track may last as long as a year.


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat