Monthly Archives: February 2014

Harvesting clams at Blueskin Bay.

Fresh live clams from NZ to USA | Murray Lloyd Photography

Working every day of the year, the team at Dunedin’s Southern Clams can have an average of 4.5 tonnes of clams ready for market in six hours. In winter the team in the water harvest by torchlight and even have waves crashing over them on occasions.

Director Roger Belton started Southern Clams in the early 1980’s after his French girlfriend took him to experience the French food culture. Eighty percent of the clams are exported, particulary to the east coast of the USA where the large Italian poplulation need them for Spagetti alle Vonglole. The remaining clams are sold domestically at restaurants, wholesalers and the New World and Pak n Save supermarkets.

Southern Clams take sustainability very seriously even investing in forestry in order to be carbon accountable. They have never harvested their full quota of clams and are contantly looking for new ways to reduce bycatch. You can read more here

I was just thankful my waders didn’t leak. Southern clams barge loaded in mist.loading up clam shells in Dunedin

Clam shells being returned to seafloor from boat.
Shells and other by catch from the clam harvest are returned to seabed
Clam harvester being taken from boat.
The unique clam harvesters have been designed by Southern Clams
Harvesting clams in Blueskin Bay
Harvesting only takes 50% of the clams in a given area

Harvesting clams in Blueskin Bay

Harvesting clams in Dunedin Harbour.

Portrait of Roger Belton, owner of Southern Clams, standing in sea.
Roger Belton, Managing Director of Southern Clams
Red bags of clams on seafloor
Red onion bags make the clams easy to spot
Southern Clams
Harvest is highly controlled – this computer screen shows the Southern Clams underwater “paddocks” in Blueskin Bay.
Close up look at Blueskin Bay Clams.
Blueskin Bay Clams
Harvesting clams at Blueskin Bay.
The crew is very loyal – Tane Gray (third from left) has been with Southern Clams since 1995

Loading sacks of clams in Blueskin Bay.

Loading sacks of clams in Blueskin Bay.
Colin McShane loads up.

Freshly harvested clams on barge at Blueskin Bay, New Zealand

Fully loaded barge of fresh clams at Blueskin Bay.
A barge is used at Blueskin bay

Roger Belton, Managing Director at Southern Clams on small outboard boat.

Close up look at clam recruitment.
Clams at Blueskin Bay, New Zealand.
Blueskin Bay

Clams being sorted in factory

Clams being shucked for chowder.
Clams being shucked for chowder.
Whiteboard of clam sizes.
The smallest clams are exported to Italians in the US for their Spagetti alle vonglole

Sorting fresh clams for exportSorting fresh clams for export

Bags of fresh clams ready for export.
Live fresh clams have a shelf life of 12 days if stored correctly