Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Shellfish species of surf clams

The surf clam or ‘skimmer’ is large, reaching a length of 8 in, (20.3 cm). It is found just below the surface of sandy bottoms in waters 30 to 100 ft (9 to 30 m) deep off Atlantic Coast states from Massachusetts to including Virginia.

Areas of coarse grain size (i.e pebbles or cobbles) are virtually devoid of surf clams. Atlantic surf clams are planktivorous filter feeders that pump water through their siphons over the gills to trap foods.

Many predators, including snails, shrimps, crabs, and fish –haddock and cod, feed on surf clams.

Maximum age exceeds 30 years; surf clams of age 15-20 years are common in many areas. Surf clams are harvested when they reach 4 inch (10 cm) which occurs at about 5 years of age.

Currently, commercial concentrations are primarily found off of the New Jersey shore, the Delmarva Peninsula, and on Georges Bank.

Most of harvesting this species is done off New Jersey with water-jet dredges having V-shaped scoop. Aboard the boats, the clams are placed in baskets or jute bags and brought to the processing plants without refrigeration.
Shellfish species of surf clams

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