As Clam Harvesting Declines, Could Farming Be The Answer?

GEORGETOWN, Maine (AP) — New England’s clam harvest is in decline, and people who want to save it are encouraging the industry to try turning to a new model — farming.

Fishermen have harvested soft-shell clams from coastal mud in Maine and other states for hundreds of years. But threats such as growing populations of predators drove Maine’s harvest to its lowest total since the 1930s last year.

A Massachusetts sustainability nonprofit group called Manomet says the future of clamming could lie in seeding and growing them in tidal areas. The group operates an experimental farm and is launching two others, all along the Maine coast.

The group says farming can help grow the harvest because clam farmers can use nets to protect growing clams from predators like crabs.

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