I live in Maine in the United States. In my area, soft-shell clams are a beloved food and the second most valuable fishery in the state. They are harvested by clam-diggers who dig the clams from intertidal mudflats. Increasingly, clammers are having a difficult time accessing their fishing grounds. Coastal development and a real estate boom has resulted in clammers getting cut off from their traditional access points as new homeowners are less inclined to allow them to cross their property. Clammers are adapting by buying and using boats, however, this added expense and increased travel distance to the public mudflats makes many clammers worry that they will be pushed out of the community. Fishers and non-profits in my area are working to identify access points and preserve them for the use of clam fishers.
Does anyone have a similar situation going on in their community? How is your community working to preserve access rights for fishers?
This fall the SSF Hub will host its third IYAFA 2022 webinar on small-scale fisheries governance and tenure rights.
Get updates on the webinar by subscribing to the SSF Hub Newsletter here.
The SSF Hub wants to hear from you:
- Who is allowed to fish in your community’s fishing grounds?
- Does your community have secure access rights to fishing grounds?
Submit a fisher voices video - instructions here.