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Spisula polynyma:   (click for more)

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  • Mactromeris polynyma  , 
    FAO Names
    En - Stimpson's surf clam, Fr - Douceron de Stimpson, Sp - Coquina antártica.
    3Alpha Code: CLT     Taxonomic Code: 3161202002
    Diagnostic Features
    Shell oval in shape, beaking very near the middle of the valve. Anterior end smaller than the elliptical posterior end. Worn shells have coarse, concentric, wide growth lines. Chondrophore not set off by a plate. Ligament partially external.  Colour shalky, dirty-white and with a coarse, varnish-like, yellowish brown periostracum. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Arctic Seas, from Rhode Island (western Atlantic) to Alaska and Puget Sound (east Pacific). Also in Japan.
    Habitat and Biology
    Moderately commonfrom low-tide line to around 100 m depth.This species reach a length of 80 mm after 13-14 years.Preyed by gastropods, sea stars, and also by sea otters.
    Shell lengths between 24 mm to 157 mm (usually between 75 to 130 mm lenght).
    Interest to Fisheries
    The species is caught with hydraulic clam dredges. It has been harvested in Alaskan waters in the U.S. fishery. Exploratory surveys were still conducted between 1980 and 1983 and described new commercially harvestable concentrations of Spisula polynyma on the Nova Scotian Shelf (estimates of virgin biomass upward of 750.000 t).
    A preliminary investigation of the aquaculture potential for cultivation of this species in Gulf of Maine waters was initiated from biological, technical, and commercial perspectives. The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 26 722 t. The countries with the largest catches were Canada (26 699 t) and USA (23 t).
    Local Names
    English : Arctic surfclam .
    French : Mactre de Stimpson .
    Spisula polynyma has the pallial sinus larger than that of Spisula solidissima . Arctic surfclam is a cold water circumboreal species, distinguished from the Atlantic Surfclam (Spisula solidissima ) by its purple foot, siphon and mantle edge which turn brilliant orange-red when cooked.
    Abott, T.R. - 1954American shellfish. D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc. Princeton. 541 pp.
    Amaratunga, T. & Rowell, T.W. - 1988Age and meat yield of Stimpson's surf clam, Spisula polynyma, a recently found commercial bivalve resource in eastern Canada. Journal of Shellfish Research. 7(1): 107-108.
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