Accession Number:

ADA180401

Title:

Species Profiles. Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (Mid-Atlantic). SURF CLAM

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INST AND STATE UNIV BLACKSBURG DEPT OF FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE SCIENCES

Report Date:

1983-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

32.0

Abstract:

The surf clam Spisula solidissima is a dominant clam species in the mid-Atlantic region, and contributed 71.8 of all clam meats consumed in the United States between 1970 and 1974 total landings in 1981 were 20.9 thousand metric tons 46.1 million lb. Surf clams live in the coastal zone from the Gulf of Marine to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina they are most common in the breaker zone, but occur to depths of 70 m 230 ft. They reach sexual maturity in 2 years and spawn in the mid-Atlantic region from mid-July through mid-October, often with two spawning peaks per year. Larval stages are planktonic upon settlement, they metamorphose into juvenile clams. Adults live buried in sandy or gravel substrates, with siphons extended above the bottom for feeding and respiration. Surf clams may live up to 25 years and reach a size of 225mm 8.9 inches. Larvae tolerate water temperatures of 14 to 30 C 57 to 86 F, and salinities as low as 16 ppt. Adults tolerate 0 to 28 C 32 to 82 F and 12.5 ppt salinity or higher. Depletion of dissolved oxygen in ocean bottom waters was the major cause for large-scale surf clam mortalities off New York and New Jersey over the last two decades. Sewage, sludge, and heavy metals often cause accumulation of toxic materials in surf clam meats and force closure of beds to fishing to prevent human consumption of these toxic materials. Keywords Bar clam Hen clam Sea clam Beach clam Skimmer clam Feeding Growth Habitat.

Subject Categories:

  • Biology
  • Biological Oceanography

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE