Ocean quahogs are found in the north Atlantic, from Spain on the east side, up to Iceland, and down to Cape Hatteras NC on the west side. They are found at depths of 10-400 m, depending on latitude. Shallower water habitats, such as the waters around Iceland, are utilized in the northern end of their range. The US stock is mostly found at depths of 25-95 m. They are found in relatively shallow water in eastern Maine (but never intertidally) and in deeper, more offshore waters south of Cape Cod.
The principal gear used in the fishery is the hydraulic clam dredge. Until the early 1990s, most ocean quahogs were caught off New Jersey and the Delmarva peninsula. The fishery has been moving north for several years and significant catches are now taken off Long Island and southern New England (Weinberg, 2001). FAO's Yearbook of Fishery Statistics reports a range of yearly production from around 185881 mt in 1995 to 147933 mt in 1999 (Canada, Norway, USA, Iceland).
Dahlgren et al. (2000) found no heterogeneity on NW Atlantic populations. But two fisheries are considered, assessed and managed separately: US Atlantic (federal waters, 3-200 miles offshore) and Maine (in both state – extending to 3 miles – and federal waters) (Chute et al., 2013; NOAA, 2014).