News & Events

Recent News Stories Featuring Clamming

Marine Patrol suspends search for missing Thomaston clammer– Thomaston. Maine Marine Patrol officers suspended the search Saturday evening for a Thomaston clammer missing since Thursday’s severe winter storm. (Jan. 6, 2018).

Shellfish Industry, Scientists Wrestle With Potentially Deadly Toxic Algae Bloom– Southern ME. A new threat to New England’s shellfish industry seems to be establishing itself more firmly, and regulators are trying to stay ahead of potentially deadly blooms of toxic algae that may be driven by climate change. (Jan. 4, 2018)

Another View: Let scientists, not wealthy landowners, set limits on Maine’s rockweed harvest. The seaweed is a sustainable, underdeveloped coastal industry that belongs in the public trust. Economically, rockweed harvesting in the only open license fishery in Maine that is scalable above a foraging industry. Urchins, elvers and scallops are closed. Expect a 20-plus-year tenure as a sternman in order to get a lobster license, and clamming access is controlled by towns. (Jan. 3, 2018).

The Future of Clamming Appears Muddy– St. George. There are some factual inaccuracies in this article, but the main takeaway is the high levels of predation, combined with limited entry, is threatening clamming in St. George. Please note that despite the we are aware of no published research which finds that 1) milky ribbon worms hunt in packs or 2) “a change in water acidification following a season of heavy rain can completely wipe-out a year’s worth of growing clams in a particular area”.    (Aug. 8, 2017).

Rising home prices slowly gentrifying Maine’s southern clamming communities – Freeport, Yarmouth. The high cost of housing is putting a strain on clammers as residency is required to be allowed to clam in town waters. (July 21, 2017)

The ups and downs of the clamming industry– Statewide. Last year, it was tough for diggers to find clams. Part of that is because of invasive species; but weather and water temperature can also play a factor in populations.

“There are more clams this year. Mostly they are the result of a cold winter we had in 2014,” said Coffin. “Cold water translates to much higher survival rates for soft shell clams.” (July 21, 2017).

Clam Recruitment Testing Begins– Bar Harbor. For the first time, the Bar Harbor Marine Conservation Committee is installing “recruitment boxes”, designed by Dr. Brian Beal and first tested in Freeport as part of DEI’s Clam Field Experiments, to measure shellfish recruitment in town waters.

Maine’s soft-shell clam industry is in jeopardy– Statewide. Dr. Brian Beal said that stabilizing the industry for the long term will mean adapting to changing environmental conditions.  The heightened predation from the crabs and worms has tracked in line with rising coastal water temperatures, which are predicted to keep rising. (July 4, 2017)

Clam committee Under Consideration in Tremont– Tremont. The town is considering forming a Clam Committee, but no action has yet been taken.

Can New England compromise when it comes to clam chowder?

Scarborough Increases Clamming Licenses Despite Protests. Scarborough. The Scarborough Shellfish Committee took the courageous step of allowing new entrants into the fishery and added a few clamming licenses. (Jan. 5, 2017).



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