Last updated on 9 September 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Mercenaria mercenaria

SPECIES NAME(s)

Northern quahog, Hard clam

COMMON NAMES

Hard clam

Northern quahogs Mercenaria mercenaria are bivalve molluscs found in the intertidal to subtidal zones of shallow, protected coastal embayments from the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. The northern quahog is an important species for both the commercial and recreational fisheries as well as for aquaculture purposes in US Atlantic coast. The management strategy of the quahog resource is largely based on the minimum legal size of 50 mm (Landry et al. 1999). At the same time, there is a growing concern regarding the sustainability of the clam industry and hence, an evolving interest in stock enhancement. Effective brood-stock management, however, requires basic information about the animal's reproductive biology (DFO 1996).


ANALYSIS

No related analysis

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

NOT YET SCORED

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

NOT YET SCORED

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

NOT YET SCORED

Future Health:

NOT YET SCORED


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Review the FishSource profile and publish or share online relevant missing information in your possession or those accessible to you.
2. Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
3. Work with scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.
4. Encourage the institutionalization of data collection and publication.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Advise your suppliers that currently the FishSource profile reflects that there is not enough information publicly available on this fishery and you are unable to make an accurate determination of the sustainability status. Request that they advise the relevant authorities of the situation and that efforts need to be made to collect and publish data and disclose data sources to FishSource to better inform buying decisions.


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
United States United States Miscellaneous

Analysis

OVERVIEW

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Review the FishSource profile and publish or share online relevant missing information in your possession or those accessible to you.
2. Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
3. Work with scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.
4. Encourage the institutionalization of data collection and publication.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Advise your suppliers that currently the FishSource profile reflects that there is not enough information publicly available on this fishery and you are unable to make an accurate determination of the sustainability status. Request that they advise the relevant authorities of the situation and that efforts need to be made to collect and publish data and disclose data sources to FishSource to better inform buying decisions.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 9 September 2016

Stock is assessed state-by-state, with only a few states conducting local assessments. Stock has not been assessed since 2009.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 9 September 2016

Stock is not assessed as a whole, and only state-by-state. Landings and other information lacking. Scientists advised the Regional Council to change reference points. Managers complied and Changed them via action after this most recent report (SARC 2009).

Reference Points

Last updated on 09 Sep 2016

There are no reference points for this stock.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 9 September 2016

Stock status is unknown. In some locations population is thought to be depleted. Stock is above biomass target and exploitation is low. Harvesters are not taking quota for market reasons (SARC 2009).

Trends

Last updated on 09 Sep 2016

Stock is depleted in some locations, but otherwise the status is unknown. Trends in landings have been decreasing, but without reliable estimates of harvest these trends may not reflect abundance. Biomass has been in shallow decline for the past few years, but is still much higher then management targets (SARC 2009).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 9 September 2016

Management is by states only. No regional approach. Limits are set by season, size, and areas. Managers have set harvest limits lower then advised by the scientific group(SARC 2009).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 9 September 2016

Unknown

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
Other Species

Last updated on 9 September 2016

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. 

HABITAT

Last updated on 9 September 2016

Blue Ocean Institute suggests raking in sea grass may negatively affect fish habitat. Hand rakes have little impact on bottom complexity (MAFMC 2009).

The disturbance of sediment can last as long as 40 days, and the dredge track may last as long as a year.

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

Different components of this unascertained score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

STOCK HEALTH:

No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
DATA NOTES

Last updated on 9 September 2016

Notes

Only landings information available. Data from 1989-2005 missing. Also, data are from landings to federal licensed dealers only, state licensed holders are not required to report in many states. Increase in landing in 2007 the result of increased federal reporting and may not be actual.

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. Blue Ocean Institute. 2012 Hard Clam Mercenaria mercenaria. Reporthttp://blueocean.org/documents/2012/03/clam-hard-full-species-report.pdf
  2. Wyer, H. 2012 . Atlantic surfclam, Ocean quahog, Hard Clam and Softshell Clam. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch report.http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/content/media/MBA_SeafoodWatch_ClamsReport.pdf
References

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    Northern quahog - US NW Atlantic Coast

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