How We Work

Restoring Sea Run, Intertidal, and Coastal Fisheries

Intertidal Fisheries: Soft Shell Clams

The soft shell clam fishery is also a primary focus for the DFP because this fishery is so very important to Downeast communities.  It is not only a valuable fishery, but it doesn’t require a massive investment for those wanting to enter the fishery.  Our partners’ soft shell clam restoration efforts focus on:

1. Supporting fisheries production: Producing spat for mud flat ‘seeding’ to restore and enhance soft shell clam harvests.

2. Strengthening the fishery in the face of a changing world: Research to provide effective strategies to mitigate pressures caused by invasive species and climate changes

3. Enhancing effective management of this common natural resource: Stakeholder communications, support, and problem-solving to establish effective ecosystem-based co-management management approaches for this unique and valuable fishery.

Sea-run Fisheries: Alewife

The DFP and its partner efforts to restore fisheries populations are currently focused on the sea-running Alewife, which migrate up rivers and streams from the coastal ocean, to their spawning and nursery areas in the region’s ponds and lakes. The Alewife is a foundational forage fish species for the region’s fisheries ecosystem. Its restoration would:

1. Support the restoration of coastal fisheries: Alewives used to be one of the most abundant fish in the regional ecosystem – restoring its numbers would enhance the prey base for cod and other groundfish in the Gulf of Maine.

2. Support a river-based fishery for Downeast communities: Millions of alewives used to ‘run’ Downeast rivers – as numbers return communities can once again rely upon a historically important river-based fishery.

3. Support restoration of Atlantic salmon and other river-running fish and fisheries: Many fish have life cycles that require a connection from sea to rivers, streams, and lakes. Restoring that connection and restoring habitat quality for alewives will have positive ‘side-effects’ for all sea-run (a.k.a., diadromous) fish.

Want to Learn More?


Learn more about our work to restore Alewives and Atlantic Salmon by visiting Downeast Salmon Federation’s website.

Soft-Shell Clams

If you are interested in soft shell clams, visit the Downeast Institute’s website. 

Contact DFP

Brittany Foster
DFP Coordinator

Larry Clifford
DFP Project Development Specialist