Certifier : 
Acoura Marine Limited trading as LRQA
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
17 Jul 2012
Certificate expires : 
25 May 2028


Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-1733 Arctic surf clam (Mactromeris polynyma) Harvesting Machines - Mechanized dredges 21 (Atlantic, Northwest) MSC-F-31340 (F-ACO-0018)
    UoC-0614 Arctic surf clam (Mactromeris polynyma) Harvesting Machines - Mechanized dredges 21 (Atlantic, Northwest) MSC-F-31340 (F-ACO-0018)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Arctic surf clam (Mactromeris polynyma) 2021 35,726

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

Eligibility, client groups and vessel lists

A fishery may choose to define the members of the fishery certificate. These members can be vessels or other client group members (e.g. companies that own vessels and/or companies that are named as eligible to handle certified product covered within the fishery certificate scope). Please refer to the fishery certificate statement on additional product specific eligibility criteria (e.g. product eligibility limitations, eligibility date, exclusive points of landing and the point where Chain of Custody certificate is required). Please consult the fishery Public Certification Report for product eligibility rationale.

Documents Published on Files
Vessel List 01 Dec 2017 1 files

About this Fishery

The Arctic surfclam is a large, long-lived bivalve shellfish found in sandy sediments. It is a strong, active burrower, capable of burrowing around 20 cm into the sediment.

This fishery, operated by Canadian company Clearwater Seafoods, was the first deepwater clam fishery to achieve MSC certification. It operates on the Banquereau Bank off the coast of Nova Scotia and the Grand Bank off Newfoundland and Labrador in the Northwest Atlantic.

Hydraulic dredges, towed by large vessels, are used to harvest Arctic surf clams from the substrate in which they are buried. The dredge uses pressurised sea water to lift the shellfish into a retaining device, allowing smaller clams to pass through.

Market Information

Clearwater is the sole supplier of Arctic surf clams. The clams are individually quick-frozen at sea. The primary markets for Arctic surf clams are Japan and China, with a secondary market in the US.