Southern Cross Sea Farms
In the wake of a 1995 ban of fishing nets in State waters, many commercial fishers in Florida were forced off of the water. Many fishers left the industry completely - others, like the ecologically friendly clam harvesters in Cedar Key, adapted. 20 years later, the ban remains controversial.

We visited Southern Cross Sea Farms in Cedar Key, Florida, earlier this month to learn about "vertically integrated" clam harvesting. Southern Cross  is one of the largest producers of hard shell clams in the State. We joined Jon Gill, co-owner of the farm, for a tour.

Here's the quick and the dirty explanation what we learned about the clam business:

First, clams are spawned in the hatchery.
Next, they are off to the nursery to mature.
Once the clams are larger, they are off to grow in a submerged habitat in the ocean. 
Finally, they are harvested, tumbled, sorted, and shipped or sold.  All in all, it takes two years to get you a clam. 

Ready for some photos? 

Hungry for some clams? Check out Southern Cross Sea Farms here!