The Maine Shellfish Learning Network (MSLN) focuses on building relationships and improving communication between many different participants within Maine and Wabanaki wild clam and mussel fisheries. These communities face a host of pressing issues, including a steady decline in clam landings, increases and changes predation, climate change, water quality, systemic inequities, social bias, and limited civic capacity for clam conservation.
Harvesters, towns, and community groups across the coast are working to advance solutions to these issues. More than twenty-five coastal communities are installing nets to protect juvenile clams from predators, using citizen science and tidal monitoring to understand factors influencing pollution circulation, working to grow the quahog fishery, conducting applied science to understand clam recruitment patterns, and more. Please see our Project Profiles page for more information on these efforts.
To help facilitate and support these efforts, the MSLN works to strengthen communication by holding formal and informal scoping sessions to better understand people’s perspectives about challenges in the soft shell clamming industry, needs for local-level shellfish project implementation, and to create learning opportunities for cross-scale coordination and adaptation. The learning network has helped to create new spaces for collaboration, contributing to a variety of positive impacts for sustainability and adaptive capacity of the wild soft-shell clamming and mussel fisheries.
For more information on the MSLN, check us out on The Mudflat.