The Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria: Biology, Fisheries, and Mariculture


SKU: 55089P Category:


Victor S. Kennedy and Brian F. Beal, editors

595 pp, paperback, index
List price…………………$79.00
Member price…………$55.30


Published December 2023

Populations of the temperate-boreal soft-shell clam Mya arenaria live in shallow, coastal marine soft sediments, predominantly in North America and Europe. Often a large component of infaunal biomass, this species plays important roles in soft-bottom food webs, both benthic and pelagic. It serves as a competitor for some benthic organisms and as important prey for others. Clams feed by filtering the water column and can ingest and concentrate toxic microalgae that can sicken or kill humans. The soft-shell clam has supported important fisheries in the Canadian Atlantic provinces and northeastern United States, first by indigenous coastal tribes and later by European colonists and their descendants to the present time. Over time, clam fisheries have faced problems associated with habitat loss, natural and introduced predators, pollution, growth of toxic algae, and climate change. In addition, overfishing has been suggested as one mechanism partly responsible for declines in commercial landings. Because of its importance as human food, this species has received attention from managers and mariculturists, as well as researchers and students. In parts of its range, mariculture efforts have been very successful in culturing populations for commercial fishery or restoration efforts.

This publication assembles and synthesizes published data on the clam to assist researchers and students studying the organism and its role in its ecosystem, as well as facilitating efforts at managing its fishery and enabling mariculture.


Front Matter

1 Systematics and Evolutionary Relationships of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Michael P. Lesser)

2 Anatomy and Functional Morphology of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Victor S. Kennedy)

3 Reproduction and Larval Biology of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Paul V. R. Snelgrove, Brian F. Beal, and Victor S. Kennedy)

4 Population Genetics of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Joseph I. Hoffman and David L. J. Vendrami)

5 Physiological Ecology of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Matthew W. Gray)

6 Ecology of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Rochelle D. Seitz and Anson H. Hines

7 Population Dynamics of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (John A. Commito)

8 Predators and Competitors of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Brian F. Beal)

9 Diseases, Pathogens, and Parasites of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Nicole B. Seitz, Christopher F. Dungan, Charles W. Walker, and S. Anne Boettger)

10 Effects of Harmful and Toxic Microalgae on the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (V. Monica Bricelj, Scott P. MacQuarrie, and Laurie Connell)

11 Effects of Ocean Warming and Acidification on the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Jeff C. Clements and Heather L. Hunt)

12 Vectors and Global Invasions of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (James T. Carlton)

13 History of Fisheries for the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria (Victor S. Kennedy)

14 The Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria in the Gulf of Maine: Challenges, Innovations, and Opportunities for Commercial Fisheries Management (Keith S. Evans and Kathleen P. Bell)

15 Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria Mariculture: History and Culture Techniques (Brian F. Beal)

16 Mya arenaria Linnaeus, 1758 (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Myidae): An Annotated Lexicon of English Common Names (James T. Carlton)



Additional information

Soft-Shell Clam

Complete Book (hard copy), Complete Book (PDF Download), Front Matter, 01 Systematics, 02 Anatomy, 03 Reproduction, 04 Population Genetics, 05 Physiological Ecology, 06 Ecology, 07 Populations Dynamics, 08 Predators, 09 Diseases, Pathogens, Parasites, 10 Toxic Microalgae, 11 Ocean Warming, 12 Vectors and Invasions, 13 History, 14 Gulf of Maine, 15 Mariculture, 16 Lexicon, Index