Commercial landings of soft-shell clams have declined by nearly 75% in the past 40 years while, at the same time, seawater temperatures have increased steadily. Fishery-independent data from > 30 yrs of experimental field research and large-scale sampling of flats along the coast have helped to interpret the losses in this iconic fishery. Because many important predators (both native and invasive) of clams are invertebrates, increasing temperatures have resulted in increased predation rates that have contributed to the widespread loss of clams. This seminar will focus on numerous field trials and how results of these may be applied on large scales to effect positive changes in the fishery.
Dr. Brian Beal teaches courses in marine biology and experimental design, and conducts research on commercially important shellfish at the University of Maine at Machias