The Manila Clam (Tapes philippinarum) has been harvested in British Columbia since the 1970s and has been farmed since 1985. It is known for its firm texture and sweet flavour.
Manila Clams were accidentally introduced to the Pacific Northwest in the 1930s when seed was inadvertently included with Pacific Oyster seed imported from Japan. The first mature specimens were found in Ladysmith in 1936 and, today, the Manila Clam lives along much of British Columbia’s coastline – as far north as Bella Bella. It is not an indigenous species.
Manila Clams do not burrow as deeply as native species, such as Butter Clams (Saxidomus giganteus) and Littleneck Clams (Protothaca staminea) and they occupy an area higher in the intertidal zone. As a result, they co-exist well with the indigenous clam species.