Cloudy Bay clams are harvested using our environmentally friendly “winnowing clam rake” and sorted by species on board our fishing boats.
The shellfish are then submersed in sea water on deck, with aerated water being frequently refreshed to allow them to continue natural respiration. Once harvesting is finished, the water is drained and the shellfish remain in this “dry” state until they arrive at the wet store facility. The clams are then placed in a single layer and stacked in specially designed tanks to allow a uniform flow of oxygen-enhanced seawater across them. The water is drawn from the deep, open ocean and once used is returned to the sea through a vast infiltration gallery. Both the clam and water are tested regularly to ensure there is no contamination. We are the only facility of its kind in New Zealand, boasting the cleanest shellfish in the country.
Our process allows the clams to purge themselves of any sand or grit. They remain in this environment with regular cleaning and care until dispatched live onto both the local and international markets. All water used in this process is USFDA approved and regularly monitored to ensure it maintains the highest possible quality. Prior to export the water is cooled down to below 10 degrees Celsius, as required by NZFSA. The clams are packed into boxes that regulate the temperature and are freighted dry to their destination.
Many of our customers will re-swim these clams in their own aquariums once they arrive at their destination.
Our surf clams are complex and delicate critters. Their shells are like fine porcelain, strong but fragile under the wrong conditions. Naturally, these clams are designed to survive a volatile environment and can handle periods out of the water, despite being deep-tidal dwellers.