Razor Clams, Littleneck Clams, Cockles (pictured above) and Purple Hinged Rock Scallops
Shellfish have been a major component of Alaskan’s subsistence, recreational and commercial fisheries. In recent years populations have dramatically decreased to where the fisheries are closed and opportunity lost. Some of the most common causes cited are decadal shifts in oceanographic conditions, increased predation, over harvest and habitat degradation. APSH has led several shellfish enhancement projects based on the out-planting of juveniles. Shellfish enhancement is a tool used to repopulate areas that have suitable habitat for shellfish but for some reason do not have viable populations. Some of the prospective causes are predation and highly variable recruitment due to temperature changes and limited contributing populations. Shellfish are stocked on beaches, with predator control netting and allowed to grow to harvestable size. Many of the shellfish are left unharvested to serve as a spawning sanctuary.
Littleneck clams were enhanced near the villages of Tatitlek, Chenega Bay, Eyak and Valdez in the Prince William Sound and Port Graham and Nanwalek in lower Cook Inlet.
Daisy, David, J. Hetrick, K. Brooks, and J. Agosti. 1998. Clam Restoration Project, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project Annual Report (Restoration Project 98131), Chugach Regional Resources Commission, Anchorage, Alaska.
Razor Clam Enhancement
Razor clams were out-planted near the Native Village of Eyak (Cordova).
Buddy Jansen of the Eyak Native Tribe planting juvenile razor clams on a beach near Cordova.
View Alaska Shellfish Farming Presentation