Vibration Assisted Clam Harvesting
Small Business Information
500 Wynn Drive, Suite 504, Huntsville, AL, 35816
E. Scott Dublin
AbstractThe demand for clams is inversely proportional to price. Labor accounts for 50% of the cost to raise clams with harvesting adding 10% to the market price. For the clam industry to realize its full potential, efficient harvesting techniques, that are both non disruptive to the organism and the environment need to be developed. Clam harvesting is currently an extremely labor intensive operation as clams are typically raked manually from their growing beds. Mechanical harvesters offset some labor cost but are extremely disruptive to the environment and have a high capitalization cost. These systems have raised environmental concerns because they displace and suspend a large portion of the clam bed in order to filter the clams from the suspended mix. This project is developing an innovative technique that uses mechanical vibrations to guide an extractor through the clam bed to remove only the clam. Not only is the technique less disruptive to the environment, but there is also less mechanical work being performed. There is a concern with the technique about the affect of vibrations on the clam. This project will conduct the necessary biological studies to determine the impact on clam longevity and adjust the system as necessary.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.