Cloudy Bay Clams, Wild Harvested Diamond Shell Surf Clams
The succulent sweet flavour and plump texture of Cloudy Bay Clams’ diamond shell surf clams was a hit with our judges, one of whom claimed the taste took him “straight to the ocean”.
Equally impressive is the story behind the wild harvest. The fishery, now managed under the quota system, was established more than 25 years ago by Ant Piper who developed the means to gently lift shellfish from the seabed beneath the turbulent surf line at Cloudy Bay. His “winnowing clam rake” uses hydraulic technology to protect the substrate from damage, while a GPS mapping system ensures the fishery is well managed with plenty of breeding stock left in the “paddock”. The fully integrated business is certified by the international sustainable seafood scheme Friend of the Sea, and managed in Marlborough by Ant’s sons Isaac (left) and Aaron.
The diamond shell clam is one of four species taken from three harvest areas (in Marlborough, Manawatu and Canterbury) and delivered to holding tanks where they are purged of sand and grit by a constant flow of fresh seawater. The final product, sold locally and overseas, is a prime example of seafood at its best: fresh, clean and sustainable.