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Boats and Gear for Hard Clams Harvesting

The hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) is a species of shellfish harvested in the waters of the Atlantic coast of the United States, and of Canada. It has been introduced on the Pacific coast of the United States and also in Europe. Hard clam farming has become a major industry in the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.

Time
Location
Boat
Boat Length*
Gear
1800s to early 1900s
Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket
Sailing sharpie
6-8
Short rake
1800s to mid-1900s
Massachusetts, Raritan Bay
Rowboat
3.7-4.25
Short rake, tongs, bull rakes
1800s to 1961
Raritan Bay
Catboat
5.5-8.5
Sail dredge
1800s to 1970s
Great South Bay
Sloop
11
Tongs
1880s to 1950s
Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket
Catboat
5.5-8.5
Basket and bull rakes
1875 to 1961
Raritan Bay
Sloop
10.7-12.2
Sail dredge
1900s
Great South Bay
Garvey
6
Tongs
Early 1900s to present 
Chesapeake Bay
Working boat
12
Patent tongs
1900s
Raritan Bay, Barnegat Bay
Garvey
6
Bull rake
1946 to 1957
Connecticut
Full-sized oyster boat
15-20
Rocking chair dredge
1958 to present
Chesapeake Bay
Full-sized oyster boat
15-20
Hydraulic dredge
1970s to present
Narragansett Bay
Fibreglass boat
5.5
Bull rake
1970s to present
Prince Edward Island
Rowboat
3.7-4.25
picking

Notes

*metres


Sources

Kraeuter, J.N and M. Castagna, eds. Biology of the Hard Clam. Amsterdam, etc.: Elsevier, 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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