Assessing the size at maturity, spawning, and condition of the truncate soft-shell clam (Mya truncata) of southern Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

Jessica M. Wood, Meghan Donovan, Scott M. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The truncate soft-shell clam Mya truncata is an important source of country food for Inuit communities across the territory of Nunavut, Canada. M. truncata also plays an important role in marine ecosystems, yet there is little understanding of their life history and condition in Canadian Arctic waters. To provide a foundation on which aspects of the life history and condition of M. truncata of Baffin Island can be monitored in the future with a changing climate and fishery development, this study estimated size at maturity and provides insights into the spawning cycle and weight-length condition indices of clams from inner Frobisher Bay and the north shore of the Hudson Strait. Male and female M. truncata exhibited similar lengths at 50% attainment of sexual maturity, 31 mm and 32 mm shell length (SL), respectively. Most (77%) of the sexually mature M. truncata collected from inner Frobisher Bay in late August and 35% of clams collected from the Hudson Strait in early September were in the ripe stage of gonadal development. These results lead us to suggest a spring spawning season and that M. truncata invest in gonadal development for the next year's spawning during the late summer-early autumn ice-free season while phytoplankton concentrations are high. Dry bodyweight-SL relationships were used to show that M. truncata condition can differ significantly over small and large spatial scales based on plotted 95% confidence intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13231
JournalPeerJ
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • Condition
  • Frobisher Bay
  • Hudson Strait
  • Life history
  • Mya truncata
  • Nunavut
  • Soft-shell clams

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