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Kraus, M.G.; Beal, B.F.; McMartin, L.

1992. A comparison of growth rates in Arctica islandica (Linnaeus, 1767) between field and laboratory populations. Journal of Shellfish Research 11(2), 289-294.

Abstract

Fifty juveniles of the ocean quahog, Arctica islandica, (estimated between 2 and 5 years old) were collected from a commercial bed in eastern Maine in Aug of 1987. These quahogs were kept in the laboratory at ambient seawater temperatures in sediment until Dec, 1987, when they were individually marked, measured and placed in a sand-filled tray at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine. During the next 3 years, they received only ambient seawater from the Damariscotta River at a constant flow of 6 l/min. Individuals were remeasured after one year (Dec, 1988) and again in Mar, Jun, Sep and Dec of 1989 and finally in Dec, 1990. After two years in the laboratory, individuals had grown from a mean shell length (SL) of 9.6 mm plus or minus 0.29 SE to a commercial size with a mean SL of 46.6 mm plus or minus 0.50 SE. In three years, the mean SL was 53.9 mm plus or minus 0.58 SE. The results indicate that this species has the potential of being cultured in shallow-water sites protected from predators.

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