Hard Shell Atlantic Clams

Hard Shell Atlantic Clams

Mercenaria mercenaria

Market Name(s): Pasta Neck,Little Neck,Middle Neck,Top Neck,Cherrystone,Chowders

Primary Source(s): Hard-shell Clams can be found from the Canadian Maritimes to the Gulf of Mexico but are less common further south. Most of the U.S. harvest comes from Massachusetts to Florida. Hard-shell Clams dig into mud and sandy bottoms of bays, coves and estuaries and live buried into the ground.

Size Range:  Hard-shell clams can grow as large as 5 inches and are sold under names based on size. Due to management restrictions, those from northern waters tend to be harvested at a larger size than those from southern waters.

North Atlantic Harshell Clams are native to the easterns shores of North America, found in coves, bays and estuaries along the Atlantic Coast from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Hard-shell Clams are generally known by names based on their size: Littlenecks, Cherrystones, Topnecks and Chowders. Littlenecks are the smallest followed by Cherrystones. These are the most popular and are often served raw. Chowders are the largest and generally used for chowders, soups, stuffed clam