Proposed rule changes for clam harvesting will be the topic of a DMR hearing in Augusta on May 11. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Clam harvesting rule change hearing set

AUGUSTA — A hearing on proposed rule changes for clam and quahog harvesting is set for Wednesday, May 11, at 5:30 p.m. at the Department of Marine Resources offices in Augusta.

Commissioner Patrick Keliher has proposed conservation measures regarding razor clams in order to protect the razor clam resource and to prevent the use of certain harvest methods that have been shown to have possibly detrimental effects on razor clam resources and fishermen.

Specifically, this rulemaking proposes to put in place size restrictions on razor clams and to prohibit the use of harvesting techniques that use electricity or electrical fields. Electricity based harvest methods have been shown to cause injury to razor clams of sublegal size by exposing them to greater predation threats. In addition, the impacts and risks posed to human divers that typically work alongside electricity based harvesting equipment are unknown.

The proposed rule also adds clarifying sections on minimum size tolerance for quahogs under section 10.04.

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