Basswiper

Surf Clams.

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Maybe we should just start calling the Jersey shore the U.S. National Dump? Because the authorities certainly treat it that way. :beatin:

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13 hours ago, TimS said:

Surf clams used to be so thick after a Noreaster they would be busting up your ankles as the waves sloshed them up and down the beach. I've seen them, literally, a foot thick near the gates in Spring Lake 20 years ago. Clams on top of clams on top of clams. A few days in the hot sun and the beach would stink like a tackle shop dumpster :eek: 

 

There's no doubt in my mind that beach replenishment destroyed the surf clams...filter feeders can't survive being buried under 20 feet of muck and mud. I want to see the environmental impact study that had to be done before they started the whole replenishment nonsense in the 90's...complete and utter nonsense what they've done to the coast locally.

 

TimS

Exactly what I’ve been saying

who gives a damn about the habitats being destroyed as long as mor and more people come to the beach

how much federal and state $$$ gets spent on replenishment that disappears after the next nor’easter 

maybe one should ask: who is getting all the $$ and we’ll find the answers

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1 hour ago, Potato Caboose said:

what we feel on our toes in shore has nothing to do with what’s going on in the real ocean environment off shore.

 

i have written multiple times a hate replenishment.  But there are other factors in play
 

https://www.nationalfisherman.com/mid-atlantic/surf-clams-adapting-to-climate-change-study-finds/

Very interesting read, so now another species leaves our waters

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2 hours ago, Potato Caboose said:

what we feel on our toes in shore has nothing to do with what’s going on in the real ocean environment off shore.

 

i have written multiple times a hate replenishment.  But there are other factors in play

I read the article, the absence of any science in the article is noteworthy. The closest thing to science in there was the ‘patchiness’ of surf clam populations. In an article that blames climate change for the surf clam decimation in NJ not to mention the actual temperature changes they are blaming seems absurd. If the temperature in the surf had changed enough to force the clams somewhere else, why not show us the changes in temps? Harvesting clams faster than they can repopulate will also destroy a population - and, miraculously, you’ll then start to find better populations in places that commercial fishing hasn’t over harvested them yet. Throw in smothering the nearest shore mile of bottom under many feet of muddy silt every few years can’t help either. 

 

What we feel on our toes does matter when talking about surf clams - they used to live right under our toes.

 

TimS

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40 mins ago, bkupmstr said:

Very interesting read, so now another species leaves our waters

Another species was over harvested in our waters :) I’ve watched them over harvest the 8” long adults, then the young 6” clams, now you can find burlap bags of 3” surf clams for sale. That’s not migration, that’s over harvesting. I’d like to see a commercially funded study of how the clam cages they drag for surf clams have changed the spacing of their bars over the years to target smaller and smaller clams - from the 1980s through today. I didn’t see any mention of that in the article :)

 

TimS

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9 hours ago, marcq said:

A chart said surface water temperature has gone up in one degree in the past 80 years.

And that’s an average temperature. If that’s accurate, let’s split it up over decades...1/8 of one degree every DECADE. So in the two decades I’ve watched surf clams disappear the temp changed (theoretically) 1/4 of 1 degree. 
 

Surf clams miraculously thrives in our waters from, at least, the earliest recorded coastal communities of Native Americans - they utilized surf clams, shells and even named towns/areas after them. So a few hundred years - during which water temps were also going up. But this 1/4 of 1 degree in the past 20 years chased the surf clams out of our waters? While commercial clammers reduced the spacing in their clam cages to catch smaller and smaller clams because they had increased their harvest to a point the clams no longer had time to grow sufficiently. I’m sure there are quietly documented meetings with NJ Fish & Game where commercial fishermen argued to reduce the spacing in their clam cages so they could keep increasing their landings without the inconvenience of waiting for clams to grow.

 

As a kid we used to find giant surf clams wedges between the bars of the Grace Ann docked at the Belmar Marina - every clam we wrestled out of those bars saved us a dime...I think the marina sold them two for a quarter at the time. These clams were enormous...and they got wedged between the bars. Now I’m curious how the cages have changed over the past 30 years....

 

TimS

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13 mins ago, TimS said:

Another species was over harvested in our waters :) I’ve watched them over harvest the 8” long adults, then the young 6” clams, now you can find burlap bags of 3” surf clams for sale. That’s not migration, that’s over harvesting. I’d like to see a commercially funded study of how the clam cages they drag for surf clams have changed the spacing of their bars over the years to target smaller and smaller clams - from the 1980s through today. I didn’t see any mention of that in the article :)

 

TimS

If u think it’s only over harvesting step up to plate and do something about it. Call all bait shops and tell them to stop selling commercially caught clams. Start a boycott of clam chowder and frozen clam strips.

 

hate the dark state noaa, college university studies on marine species

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16 mins ago, Potato Caboose said:

If u think it’s only over harvesting step up to plate and do something about it. Call all bait shops and tell them to stop selling commercially caught clams. Start a boycott of clam chowder and frozen clam strips.

 

hate the dark state noaa, college university studies on marine species

Lol, why? They are gone already, the 1/8th of a degree a decade temperature increase sent them to Cape Cod. Studies funded by the commercial fishing industry told us so. Where’s my buddy Nils - @Nils S - he knows about this stuff and always provides supporting evidence. Hey Nils, got anything about the history of the clam cages being dragged off NJ and how they’ve changed over the decades? Or how much the surf zone bottom temps have changed in the past 20 years?

 

If the clamming industry stuck to just providing local shops and restaurants there wouldn’t be a surf clam problem today - got any charts showing the distribution of locally harvested surf clams over the past 30 or so years? What used to be a very local distribution has most certainly changed to nationwide, possibly even international. By increasing the markets for local surf clams the demand sky rocketed - that likely increased prices making them more desirable - so new boats enter the fishery - then the clams start to disappear...which makes them even more valuable...and the population is pressured more and more. 
 

It’s nothing new, 100% of commercially targeted stocks follow the same arc...and 100% of the time its someone else’s fault, not the people over harvesting them. They could become illegal to use as bait or eat in NJ and not a single surf clam would be spared - they would just be shipped out of NJ. 

 

TimS

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22 mins ago, TimS said:

It’s nothing new, 100% of commercially targeted stocks follow the same arc...and 100% of the time its someone else’s fault, not the people over harvesting them. They could become illegal to use as bait or eat in NJ and not a single surf clam would be spared - they would just be shipped out of NJ. 

'Nuff said.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Tim -

I haven't done any work with or for the surf clam guys since they went to ITQs - maybe 30 years ago - and haven't paid much attention. I'd guess that the population shift to the North is at least partially temp related. If you search "surf clam stock assessment" (or SCSA Update) you'll find the latest on that. I'm in Marathon until Sunday and that's a bit beyond my cell phone web capabilities until I get back to a real computer.

I'll also check the by-state landing trends.

If I don't reply by Tuesday or Wednesday  send me a reminder and I'll get on it.

BenLippen -

I doubt very much that's the case. The surf clam harvest is controlled by a small handful of "corporate level" processors with huge investments in the future of the fishery. I'd bet that they are seriously commited to long-term sustainbility. The big guys can afford to take the long view.

Happy Thanksgiving (or whatever we're supposed to call it to avoid offending anyone).

Edited by Nils S

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2 hours ago, bkupmstr said:

 

maybe one should ask: who is getting all the $$ and we’ll find the answers

Pallone would certainly be on that list

 

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