Good Fish Guide
Your guide to sustainable seafood
You can play a key role in securing the future of our seas and marine wildlife by making more environmentally responsible choices when buying seafood.
Our seas face a wide range of threats. Climate change, pollution, habitat and biodiversity loss are all impacting our seas; plus 90% of global fish stocks are either fully or over-exploited. All these factors combined mean that urgent action is needed to restore the health of our seas. Fish farming (aquaculture) is rapidly expanding to meet increasing demand for seafood, but if this is done badly it can also damage the environment and exacerbate these other problems.
Use the Good Fish Guide to find out which fish are the most sustainable (Green rated), and which are the least sustainable (Red rated). Make the right choice and reduce your impact – every purchase matters! Find out more about our seafood work, including how we develop our seafood ratings, plus sustainable seafood recipes and more.
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Clam, Manila (Farmed)
Clams are versatile shellfish which you should only eat if they are from farmed sources (e.g. Manila or American hardshell clams) or harvested from the wild (e.g. carpet or razor clams) using sustainable manual methods such as hand
gathering. They can be eaten raw, boiled, baked or fried and are most popularly made into clam chowder - a brothy soup, containing potatoes and other vegetables, and often cream. Clams, like many fish, were served in restaurants on Fridays to provide an option for Catholics who abstained from eating "meat' on this day, as well as during important Christian periods such as Lent.
All Manila clams in the UK are progeny of broodstock imported from the west coast of USA. They are grown in trays on trestles in the sea before planting out in ground plots or seabed. Only a small number of Manila clams are farmed for the table in UK (5 tonnes, 2012), the biggest production is seed for ongrowing. Clams may be harvested by manual digging or raking, or by mechanical methods, e.g. suction or hydraulic dredge. Manual harvesting methods cause less disturbance to sediment than mechanical methods. Shellfish farming is a low-impact method of producing farmed seafood and high quality water standards are required for cultivation of shellfish for human consumption.