Review of Razor Clams in Wales

Razor clam biology, ecology, stock assessment, and exploitation: a review of Ensis spp. in Wales

Commissioned Report, Completed March 2018

Summary

Razor clams are harvested in a number of valuable European fisheries using various gear types, and are traditionally exploited by hand gathering during low tides on sheltered beaches. Increased pressure from hand gathering has recently resulted in the closure of intertidal areas in North Wales to razor clam harvesting, and high prices driven by increased demand from Asia is driving a growing interest from commercial fisherman in establishing a Welsh razor clam fishery. Recognising the need to determine effective measures to assess razor clams stocks, the Welsh Government contracted the NAFC to conduct a study on the biology, ecology, stock assessment, and exploitation of razor clams.

The objectives of this study were to:

  • Provide details of the biology and ecology of razor clams, including specific information on the species present through a comprehensive literature review and interviews with key experts and stakeholders.
  • Map known areas of razor clam harvesting, based on interviews with enforcement and conservation officers, and map areas where a potential fishery could occur, based on a predictive habitat mapping approach.
  • Review razor clam stock assessment methods for the intertidal and subtidal, and provide recommendations on the most cost effective approaches.

Findings from this study are detailed in a report commissioned by the Welsh Government and available to download below.

Funding

This study was funded by the Welsh Government (contract C243/2012/2013)

Download the Project Report

Razor clam biology, ecology, stock assessment, and exploitation: a review of Ensis spp. in Wales (pdf)

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