Clam, Soft-Shell – Maine and Massachusetts
Soft-Shell Clams are found in intertidal mud flats throughout much of the North Atlantic Ocean. They reach sexual maturity around 5 years old and usually live 10 – 12 years.
In the U.S., most commercial fishing for Soft-Shell Clams occurs in Maine, but there is a small commercial fishery for Soft-Shell Clams in Massachusetts too. Little is known about the abundance or fishing levels on Soft-Shell Clams. There is a size limit of 2 inches for Soft-shell Clams with fisheries management delegated to individual municipalities.
Fishermen catch Soft-Shell Clams with hand gears, including rakes and shovels, which are very selective and let them return unwanted species to their habitats with little harm.