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Beach clam fisheries
McLachlan, A.; Dugan, J.E.; Defeo, O.; Ansell, A.D.; Hubbard, D.M.; Jaramillo, E.; Penchaszadeh, P.E. (1996). Beach clam fisheries. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 34: 163-232
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Clam fisheries; Donacidae Fleming, 1828 [WoRMS]; Donax cuneatus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Donax deltoides Lamarck, 1818 [WoRMS]; Donax denticulatus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Donax faba Gmelin, 1791 [WoRMS]; Donax serra Röding, 1798 [WoRMS]; Donax striatus Linnaeus, 1767 [WoRMS]; Donax trunculus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Mesodesma donacium (Lamarck, 1818) [WoRMS]; Amarilladesma mactroides (Reeve, 1854) [WoRMS]; Mesodesmatidae Gray, 1840 [WoRMS]; Paphies donacina (Spengler, 1793) [WoRMS]; Paphies subtriangulata (W. Wood, 1828) [WoRMS]; Paphies ventricosa (Gray, 1843) [WoRMS]; Siliqua patula (Dixon, 1789) [WoRMS]; Solenidae Lamarck, 1809 [WoRMS]; Tivela mactroides (Born, 1778) [WoRMS]; Tivela stultorum (Mawe, 1823) [WoRMS]; Veneridae Rafinesque, 1815 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • McLachlan, A.
  • Dugan, J.E.
  • Defeo, O.
  • Ansell, A.D.
  • Hubbard, D.M.
  • Jaramillo, E.
  • Penchaszadeh, P.E.

Abstract
    The biology, ecology, and fisheries of 15 species of clam from exposed ocean beaches are reviewed and contrasted. The species, representative of four families of bivalves, are Tivela stultorum and Siliqua patula from North America, Tivela mactroides, Donax denticulatus and D. striatus from the Caribbean, Mesodesma mactroides and M. donacium from southern South America, Donax trunculus from Europe, D. serra from southern Africa, D. cuneatus and D. faba from Asia, Donax deltoides from Australia, and Paphies ventricosa, P. subtriangulata and P. donacina from New Zealand. These clams tend to fall into two categories: generally larger temperate species that dominate the macrofauna community biomass on beaches of the dissipative type, and generally smaller tropical species, mostly donacids, found on reflective beaches. Some species have intertidal distributions, but most are centred in the swash zone or shallow subtidal. Vertical distribution appears to be related to latitude and temperature with lower temperatures leading to a more downshore distribution. Subtidal species are more difficult to exploit because of the protection afforded by high energy surf zones. All are filter feeders, playing important roles in the trophic structure of beaches. Most species have extended spawning, often with two peaks in the year. In many cases recruitment occurs in a different zone from the adult populations with subsequent migration up or downshore. Life spans range from 1-3 yr for the smaller, warm water species to > 20 yr in the larger temperate species, but most species live for 2-8yr and have relatively rapid growth to maturity. Many populations exhibit resurgences - considerable fluctuations in abundance coupled to variable recruitment and/or mass mortalities. Exploitation of beach clams is sometimes constrained by the accumulation of toxins, such as those associated with blooms of toxic algae, that can render them unsafe for human consumption and may cause mass mortalities of the clams themselves. Many beach clam species support recreational, artisanal and commercial fisheries, but recreational fisheries are also mostly commercial and, with a few notable exceptions, most of the commercial fisheries are also artisanal. Recreational fisheries are notoriously difficult to manage since numbers of harvesters cannot usually be controlled and exploitation must be limited solely by recourse to size, bag and season and/or area restrictions. The recreational experience provided by clam fisheries on ocean beaches must be considered to be as valuable as the food value of the resource itself.

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