NEWBURYPORT– October 16, 2013 –The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game and the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) announced that 250 acres of Joppa Flat in the Merrimack River estuary will be open for the commercial harvest of softshell clams by specially licensed commercial diggers.
“I am happy to credit the city of Newburyport and the staff of our Division of Marine Fisheries for the hard work that was necessary to open this area to commercial clammers,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin. “Massachusetts’ soft shell clam harvest is worth five to six million dollars annually and the opening of Joppa Flat will benefit commercial shell fishermen in the area who rely on open and productive flats for their livelihood.”
“It is great to see that clammers have returned to Joppa Flats,” said State Representative Michael A. Costello. “This is just one of the many reasons I have fought to keep the Newburyport Shellfish Plant open. It is a vital part of the Massachusetts economy.”