Savannah Clam Company and a recipe for Steamed Littleneck Clams with White Wine Sauce
Harvesting clams is dependent on the tides, the seasons, and the weather. Some days are pretty rough and cold on the water, days like the one we had, make up for it. John will harvest two days a week and on average will return to shore with 6,000 – 8,000 clams each week. They are then sold primarily to local wholesale seafood businesses.
If you are not familiar with aquafarming, here is a brief description of the process to grow clams. John purchases clam eggs (seeds) that are 2-3mm in size. They are placed in what is called a grow-out bag. About 5,000 eggs go in each of these bags. The seed bags are set in the water until each seed is about the size of a penny. They are then planted in the sand under a protective mesh. When they reach a certain size, depending on their use, he will rake them up from the sand and place them in bags that are anchored to the sand bed. From here they will eventually be harvested as needed.
The entire process to raise Littleneck Clams takes between 18 months to two years. During this time, John has to battle the loss of clams to predators like crabs, stingrays, sea turtles, and manta rays. While he takes precautions against this loss, some of these sea creatures are strong enough to crush conch shells, so his protective netting does not always keep them out.