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Razor clam

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Green
Second choice
Avoid
Bycatch
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General

Shellfish

Shellfish is a culinary term that is often used for several species of molluscs, gastropods, bivalves and arthropods. Some examples are the St. James shell, mussels, razor clams, oysters, cockles and whelks. Most shellfish live partly or fully buried into the seabed, mostly in sandy or gravelly bottoms. They feed by filtering nutrients out of the water. Seed and eggs are released into the water and fertilized externally. Most shellfish are hermaphroditic, they can be both male and female. There are many different shellfish species in the North Sea that are very much suitable for consumption. Fishing methods on shellfish include hand-picking, dredging or mechanic dredges (suckers).

 

Razor clam

The Ensis genus houses many bivalve species and is also referred to as razor clam or sword razor. Species of the Ensisgenus can be found along the entire European coastline. The American jackknife clam is the most common razor clam species which can be found along the Dutch coast. This species is originally found near western Atlantic coastlines but has been introduced in the North Sea via ballast water. Razor clams are bivalves with an oblong, rectangular shell and often live buried in the sand at depths of up to 50 centimetres. Razor clam species usually occur aggregated in large numbers. They also have very welldeveloped swimming skills; they swim by pushing water out of their shell.  

 

Razor clam

Ensis spp.
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Mechanic dredges

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Explanation assessment

The Dutch fishery on razor clam has been MSC-certified since 2012. This fishery on razor clam takes places in the Dutch coastal waters of the Zeeuwse Delta and north of the Wadden Sea. There are 8 permits given, of which 4 are used.

The vessels use suction dredges to catch the razor clams and catch more than 3700 tons (fresh weight). This is 46% of the Dutch quota for 2012 (8000 tons). The razor clams are mainly exported to Spain and Italy.

 

Razor clam

Ensis spp.
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Handpicked

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Ensis species, also known as razor clams, are vulnerable to [fishing pressure]. Although they have a large economic value, there are no stock assessments for razor clams.

Hand picking of razor clams is very selective with no bycatch. This method has no negative impact on the ecosystem and habitat. However, there is some picking of undersized razor clams.

Management of razor clam fishery from Europe is not sufficient. There is a minimum landing size (of 10 cm) determined, but there are not more measures taken. There is sometimes a local management, like gear prescriptions, closed areas and seasons or daily catch restricrions. The main problems are the picking of undersized razor clams and illegal fishery.

Mesheft, ook wel bekend als scheermes of zwaardschede, is gevoelig voor [visserijdruk visserijdrukvisserij-inspanning]. Ondanks het grote economische belang van de soort, zijn er geen bestandsbeoordelingen voor de mesheft.

Door de mesheften met de hand te rapen is er geen [bijvangst] en kan er zeer selectief gevist worden. Deze methode veroorzaakt geen negatieve effecten op het ecosysteem en het habitat. Wel worden er dikwijls ondermaatse mesheften geraapt.

Beheer van de mesheftvisserij vanuit Europa is niet voldoende. Er is een minimum aanlandingsmaat vastgesteld (van 10cm), maar er zijn verder geen maatregelen. Er is soms wel lokaal beheer, zoals tuigvoorschriften, gesloten gebieden en -seizoenen of dagelijkse vangstbeperkingen. Vooral het rapen van ondermaatse mesheften en illegale visserij vormt een probleem.

 

Razor clam

Ensis spp.
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Mechanic dredges

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Razor clams are vulnerable to [fishing pressure]. There are no stock assessments for razor clam, despite the large economic value of this species.

Fishing on razor clam is done with suction dredges. Intensive fishing with suction dredges leads on the long term to a change in the diversity of the habitat and the species composition in sea. There is also much bycatch with this fishing method and there are discards.

Management of the razor clam fishery from the EU is not enough. There is a minimum landingsize determined (of 10cm), But there are furthermore no European measures. Sometimes there are measures taken locally, for example gear guidelines, closed areas and seasons or daily catch limits. This differs from country to country.

 

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.