Quahogs tested as new Maine species

Manomet Inc., an environmental organization based in Massachusetts with an office in Brunswick, is working on a pilot project in Maine that may lead to the introduction of quahogs as a new aquaculture species. Quahogs are a harder species of clam, typically found in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The group is working with four shellfish farmers along the Maine coast to grow quahogs, study the results and bring the bivalves to market. “The rapidly warming waters in the Gulf of Maine have created a precarious situation for many species,” said Marissa McMahan, director of the Fisheries Division at Manomet. “Soft-shell clams have experienced a dramatic decrease in numbers over the last several years. Quahogs are a warmer-water species that may be a more lucrative possibility for this area.” The shellfish are growing in Harpswell, Georgetown and West Bath aquaculture sites. The first market-size quahogs are expected in 2021.