b'IMAGE CREDIT: CAPE COD MARITIME MUSEUMQuahogs of various sizes. Quahog (M. Mercenaria)The name comes from the Native American word Poquauhock. Quahogs are a hard-shell clam that inhabit the mud flats from Canada toCape Cod Maritime Museums Young Mariner Program campers learn all about oyster biology from Sweetheart the southeastern coast of the United States.Creek Oyster Companys Ed Janiunas. They are most concentrated between Cape Cod and New Jersey. They move through the mud and sand by using a muscular foot, as well asOysters the region. This approach allows for year-round using it to burrow just below the surface to feedOysters, more than many foods, embody theavailability, meeting the consistent consumer and hide from predators. They have two shortdistinct flavors of their origin. Similar to howdemand for these highly coveted delicacies. siphons (necks, or valves) that filter the waterwine grapes are shaped by factors like sunlight,Many towns on Cape Cod and the Islands are in and out, absorbing plankton, bacteria, andrainfall, temperature, and soil conditions, oys- propagating their own seed in hatcheries for oxygen. They can filter up to a gallon of waterters reflect the intricate interplay of elementsdistribution within each town. Aquaculture per hour and have a lifespan of up to 20 years.such as water temperature, salinity, currents,Research Corporation in Dennis plays a vital Different sized quahogs are known as Little- phytoplankton, seabed composition, mud,role in local and regional communities by necks and Cherrystones and can be eatenminerals from the adjacent land, and the dura- researching and growing the very highest qual-raw when fully grown. Quahogs are also calledtion of their cultivation before harvest. The fla- ity shellfish seed. Chowders and often used for clam chowdervors of Cape Cods oysters are influencedFor those who think that shellfish are gross, or as stuffed clams.year-round by the diverse salinities in ourespecially when eaten raw (theres a lot of you coastal waters and the ever-changing interplayout there, we know), shellfish are actually The Economic Impact of Shellfish of tides and New England weather. incredibly nutritious and beneficial. The Ameri-on the Cape & Islands Cape Cod oysters are grown and raised incan Heart Association advises incorporating fish Shellfish, and shellfish farming (aquaculture)diverse gear and growing systems, situated onor shellfish into your diet at least twice a week. is an incredibly valuable and pivotal piece ofprivate lease sites, diligently tended by dedi- Shellfish, being low in calories and total fat, the Capes local economy. In Barnstablecated shellfish growers. The local Town Selectwhile rich in protein and essential Omega-3 fatty County (Cape Cod), data from 2021 shows thatBoards or Councils play a crucial role in grant- acids, are particularly highlighted for their nutri-over 31.6 million oysters were landed, with aing farmers the use of designated areas throughtional benefits. A dozen oysters even boast a value of almost $17 million. Data from 2018leases for a specified period. These arrange- lower calorie count compared to an average shows the following revenue for shellfish land- ments provide the farmers with the rights toserving of beer. Theyre a great way to indulge in ings on Cape Cod and the Islands: Oysters -cultivate and harvest oysters in the designatedsome healthy, local, sustainable foods. At many $18.5 million; Quahogs - $3.4 million; Razorwaters, contributing to the sustainable man- Cape Cod restaurants, you cant get more farm Clams - $2.3 million; Soft Shell Clams - $716,146.agement and regulation of oyster farming into table than Cape Cods shellfish!In an economic impact study from 2015 (UMASS Report prepared for Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, Woods Hole Sea Grant & SEMAC), the estimated output of the shellfish aquaculture industry was valued at $25.4 million, which inBelow: Sweetheart Creek Oyster Companys farm in turn generated approximately $45.5 million inLewis Bay, Yarmouth, MA. the Massachusetts economy through the coastal, fishing, and seafood industries. IMAGE CREDIT: CAPE COD MARITIME MUSEUM30 This is Hy-Line'