Bar Harbor Foods and Sustainable Seafood

<< Back to list page | Email this Page

January 24, 2014

In response to inquiries regarding the health and sustainability of the fisheries from which species of clams used in Bar Harbor Foods' seafood products are harvested; we believe, based on industry information readily available to us and to consumers, that the clams we use in our products; sea clams, also known as surf clams, of the species "Spisula solidissima", and ocean quahogs, also known as Maine Cherrystone Clams, of the species "Mercenaria mercenaria", are the most sustainable choices available and we provide the following documented information to our valued retailers and customers.

Bar Harbor Foods supports global seafood sustainability and we are committed to using only sustainable USA seafood choices in our products. Bar Harbor Foods has been endowed by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation* through an investment by its Sea Change Fund* which supports only companies committed to sustainable seafood. On another sustainability note, Bar Harbor Foods uses only Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish, Alaskan pollock and Alaskan salmon, in its fish chowders and bisques.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Seafood Watch" states, "Atlantic surf clams and ocean quahogs are a "Good Alternative." Hard clams from North Carolina, Massachusetts, Virginia and Rhode Island and soft-shell clams from Maine and Massachusetts are a "Best Choice."*

We suggest that most any retail, restaurant or food-service clam product, whether fresh in-shell, in-store or commissary clam soup product, frozen clam strips, stuffed clams, and/or other prepared seafood products and/or canned seafood products containing clam meat, such as clam sauces, etc., will be produced from one of these two referenced clam species based on commercial availability and U.S. regulatory compliance.

North Atlantic quahog clams, commonly known as "cherrystone", "littleneck", "mahogany" or "quahog", and of the species, "Mercenaria mercenaria", are the names used for small ocean quahogs sustainably harvested from Maine’s coastal waters. These clam beds are seeded in compliance with U.S. Marine Fisheries/NOAA regulations to insure an abundant supply and a healthy, sustainable fishery. There are two separate fisheries for ocean quahog—one in federal waters (3 to 200 miles offshore) and a smaller one off the coast of Maine in both federal and state waters. The federal ocean quahog fishery was one of the first to be managed under a fishery management plan as directed by the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 1976. It’s also the first U.S. fishery to be managed under an Individual Transferable Quota system, an innovative “catch share” program that allocates shares of the annual harvest to individual fishermen or vessels. The owner of the individual quota can sell his quota to another person permanently or lease it temporarily. When fishermen have a fixed share of the annual harvest, they are able to fish when it is best for them, taking into consideration the market, weather conditions, and other factors. This slows the pace of the fishery, making harvesting quahogs safer, more efficient, profitable, and environmentally friendly—a win-win for the fishermen and the ocean quahog resource. The Maine fishery is managed under a separate quota system.**

Bar Harbor products using clam species "Mercenaria mercenaria": Bar Harbor Manhattan Style Clam Chowder, Bar Harbor Seafood Stock, Bar Harbor Clam Stock, Bar Harbor Clam Juice, Bar Harbor Whole Maine Cherrystone Clams, Bar Harbor Maine Cherrystone Clam Chowder

North Atlantic sea clams, or surf clams, as they are also known, are of the species, "Spisula solidissima". The largest bivalves in the western North Atlantic, surf clams support a multimillion-dollar fishery along the East Coast and are the most important commercial clam species harvested in the United States. The United States is the only source for surf clam, which is too big and too coarse to be eaten whole like other clams. Instead, they are sold processed, rather than live, in fresh, frozen, and canned products such as clam strips, minced clams, stuffed clams, chowders, and broth. The surf clam fishery was one of the first to be managed under a fishery management plan as directed by the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 1976. It’s also the first U.S. fishery to be managed under an Individual Transferable Quota system, an innovative “catch share” program that allocates shares of the annual harvest to individual fishermen or vessels. The owner of the individual quota can sell his quota to another person permanently or lease his quota to another person temporarily. When fishermen have a fixed share of the annual harvest, they are able to fish when it is best for them, taking into consideration the market, weather conditions, and other factors. This slows the pace of the fishery, making harvesting surf clams safer, more efficient, profitable, and environmentally friendly—a win-win for the fishermen and the surf clam resource. Not only does the surf clam fishery operate sustainably, but surf clams also offer little waste—two-thirds of the surf clam’s shucked weight is used, and its nectar is a delicacy. Also, some of the shell is used crushed in construction, or whole as containers for stuffed dishes.***

Bar Harbor products using clam species "Spisula solidissima": Bar Harbor Clam Corn Chowder, Bar Harbor New England Clam Chowder, Bar Harbor Chopped Clams

Links to referenced information: http://www.fishwatch.gov/seafood_profiles/species/clams/species_pages/atlantic_surfclam.htm** Link: http://www.fishwatch.gov/seafood_profiles/species/clams/species_pages/ocean_quahog_clam.htm http://www.seachangemanagement.com/fund/ http://www.packard.org http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/mobile/sfw/FishDetails.aspx?fid=138&region_id=2

For more information, please contact:

Cynthia Fisher                                                                                                                                      Vice President of Quality Assurance & Marketing                                                                                Bar Harbor Foods                                                                                                                                 1112 Cutler Road Whiting, ME 04691                                                                                                 Email: cfisher@barharborfoods.com

<< Back to list page | Email this Page | Permanent link to this article

 

Share or bookmark
this blog post!

Follow Bar Harbor Foods on Twitter
Bookmark and Share
 
 

About Us | Our Products | Where to Buy | For the Trade | News & Press | Blog | Recipes | Site Map | Contact Us
Join Our Mailing List »
Follow Bar Harbor Foods on Twitter Bookmark and Share

Bar Harbor Foods ·1112 Cutler Road, Whiting, Maine 04691 USA·207-259-3341
info@barharborfoods.com