Razor Clam Activity Booming in Eastern Cape Cod Bay

BREWSTER – Officials with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension said that razor clam activity is growing in parts of the region.

“There seems to have been a boom, certainly in eastern Cape Cod Bay. There’s been a lot of activity and that’s one of the reasons Brewster took on a new fishery in that town,” Fisheries and Aquaculture Specialist Josh Reitsma said.

He added that razor clams tend to boom and bust naturally, similar to bay scallops, and how it’s beneficial the Cape is currently seeing more of them.

“The price of razor clams is quite high. They’ve become quite popular, they’re in high demand. So where they’re available it’s certainly a pretty lucrative fishery, and it’s a part-time fishery for sure, for most folks,” he added.  

Reitsma was part of a panel from the Cooperative Extension that gave an update to the Barnstable County Commissioners at a recent board meeting.

According to Reitsma, razor clams are a challenging species to manage, which is why his colleague Marine Resource Specialist Harriet Booth performed the research.

Booth wanted to give towns more information on how they might manage harvest of razor clams to maximize their reproductive potential.

The Cooperative Extension officials presented on the seasonal reproductive cycle of razor clams and southern surf clams at two industry conferences in San Diego, California and Portland, Maine this year.

Booth said the two kinds of clams are developing commercial aquaculture species that industry professionals are interested in harvesting and growing.

Commission Vice-Chair Ronald Bergstrom underlined the importance of the Cooperative Extension’s work, especially with shellfishing and aquaculture as important industries  on the Cape.

“Science and research affect the decisions that we make. The reproductive rates of species like razor clams determine catch limits,” Bergstrom said.

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.

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