Fact Sheet: Atlantic Surf Clam


Atlantic Surf Clam: Spisula solidissima

Scientific Name

Spisula solidissima

Market Forms

Chopped; frozen; IQF; canned; value-added including pre-fried strips, breaded, chowders and bisques; and clam juice.


Surf clams range from 4 to 8 inches in length (surf clams are more oval or triangular than round).


Surf clam meat is white to light tan in color with some pieces having an orange cast. It has a mild, sweet flavor. Approximately two-thirds of the clam’s shucked weight is used. One-third is made up of a part commonly referred to as the “tongue.”This is often used to make fried clam strips.The other third is the strap meat which runs around the edge of the shell and the abductor muscle which opens and closes the shell.This meat is ground or chopped and used for chowders, bisques and sauces.


Surf clams are available year-round.

Nutritional Value

67 Calories (100 grams, 3.5 oz.) 13.5% Protein 0.5% Fat 0.2% Omega-3


Surf clams have a sweet, delicate flavor and are appropriate for use in familiar clam recipes such as chowders, clams in white sauce or with linguine.The surf clam is the only clam which is used in manufacturing frozen, breaded clam strips.


The surf clam is also known as a skimmer, hen clam, sea clam, giant clam and bar clam. All clams are vegetarians.The surf clam is a fast growing clam that matures in five to seven years.


The vessels used to harvest these sea clams range in size from about 60 feet to 160 feet in length.The clams are generally found in beds from the surf line to offshore waters up to 120 feet in depth.


Virginia’s waters and products are regulated by federal and state agencies including the FDA, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, insuring that only safe wholesome seafood reaches our customers.