Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Northern Quahog Harvests

Harvesting Northern Quahogs by commercial fishermen has been a rocky business over the period for which data is available. (Gaps are related to quota regulations to protect the resource.) Otherwise known as “hard clams,” these shellfish are sometimes completely absent from the harvest rolls, sometimes overflowing.

Until the year 2001, the price per pound only once exceeded $.40.  Thereafter, with peaks and valleys, the return has been $.90 per pound. As NOAA’s FishWatch notes,

Among the longest-lived marine species in the world, ocean quahogs grow slowly and have low reproduction rates, making them relatively unproductive and unable to support high levels of fishing. Knowing this, managers set harvest limits for the fishery at low levels to try to conserve the ocean quahog resource and keep it at target population levels.

. . .  The Maine fishery is managed under a separate quota system.

The large ocean [northern] quahogs targeted by the fishery in U.S. federal waters have relatively small, dark, and tough meats and are used in processed clam products such as soups, chowders, and sauces. Smaller ocean quahogs from Maine waters are marketed as “mahogany clams” and are sold on the half-shell market or for steaming.*

Northern Quahog Landings 1964-2016

Northern Quahog Landings 1964-2016

Northern Quahog Price per Pound 1964-2016

Northern Quahog Price per Pound 1964-2016

 

YEAR LIVE POUNDS VALUE PRICE/LB
1964 17,265 $1,764 $0.10
1965 19,114 $2,074 $0.11
1966 248 $15 $0.06
1967
1968 5,873 $668 $0.11
1969 67,207 $9,762 $0.15
1970 60,846 $9,367 $0.15
1971 48,026 $7,994 $0.17
1972 51,466 $7,475 $0.15
1973 23,409 $2,943 $0.13
1974 1,577 $169 $0.11
1975 62,536 $16,395 $0.26
1976 20,840 $5,460 $0.26
1977 10,364 $3,220 $0.31
1978 6,872 $2,600 $0.38
1979 4,544 $2,200 $0.48
1980 4,130 $1,750 $0.42
1981 1,652 $650 $0.39
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987 1,555,223 $508,303 $0.33
1988 5,700 $2,411 $0.42
1989
1990 10,436 $3,082 $0.30
1991 331 $111 $0.34
1992
1993 51,158 $20,520 $0.40
1994 1,044 $455 $0.44
1995
1996 2,981 $1,191 $0.40
1997 106,508 $42,544 $0.40
1998 249,191 $99,552 $0.40
1999 36,875 $14,727 $0.40
2000 124,989 $49,929 $0.40
2001 616,069 $579,104 $0.94
2002 51,032 $47,973 $0.94
2003 17,529 $16,355 $0.93
2004 20,586 $10,138 $0.49
2005 117,315 $173,342 $1.48
2006 352,409 $476,369 $1.35
2007 65,423 $44,966 $0.69
2008 107,268 $82,648 $0.77
2009 681,243 $468,741 $0.69
2010 1,812,798 $1,248,492 $0.69
2011 454,106 $414,921 $0.91
2012 419,792 $395,657 $.94
2013 516,155 $502,285 $.97
2014 971,908 $1,072,724 $1.10
2015 1,013,067 $1,363,417 $1.35
2016 978,195 $1,396,169 $1.43

Source:  http://www.maine.gov/dmr/commercial-fishing/landings/documents/HardClam.table.pdf  (accessed January 29, 2018)

*http://www.fishwatch.gov/seafood_profiles/species/clams/species_pages/ocean_quahog_clam.htm (accessed 9/26/12)





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This entry was last modified: January 29, 2018 06:10 PM

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