Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia clam diggers, Ecology Action Centre to market shellfish

A group of clam diggers in the Annapolis Basin hopes a new marketing partnership will help them increase the value of their harvest.

Partnership aims to better market clams from independent harvesters

Ken Weir, the president of the CHA2 Clammers Association, is working with the Ecology Action Centre to better market sustainably harvested clams by independent clammers like himself. (Jeff Clements)

A group of clam diggers in the Annapolis Basin hopes a new marketing partnership will help them increase the value of their harvest. 

Ken Weir, the president of the CHA2 Clammers Association, is working with the Ecology Action Centre to better market sustainably harvested clams by independent clammers like himself. 

"We got the best meaty clams, we got the best tasting clams and the best clams in the world," said Weir, a fourth-generation clam digger.  

The problem, said Weir, is making sure Nova Scotians and Canadians have access to their product. 

"All our steamers go down to the States and we're trying to tap the industry in Canada," Weir told CBC's Mainstreet.

"It looks good. Things are looking up." 

Terry Wilkins, who has decades of experience as a clam digger, has been working with Weir to manage the clam population in parts of the Annapolis Basin.

"We're very excited that the wild fishery in this area … has the possibility of coming back," said Wilkins. "All we need to do is to give it a helping hand."

To increase the population of clams over the past five years, Weir said they have moved clams with lots of seed from the high-water mark, where they're easier to find, offshore.

For independent clam harvesters, prices can be as low as one dollar per pound. With a bigger market for their product, Wilkins hopes they can increase that to "a couple dollars a pound, maybe even $3."

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