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CTA. 1990. Mega molluscs!. Spore 26. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45253
Many Pacific islands, particularly sparsely populated reef areas, have had their natural stocks of giant clam poached to near extinction. The clams are an important part of the reef ecosystem as well as traditionally being an important food source,...
Many Pacific islands, particularly sparsely populated reef areas, have had their natural stocks of giant clam poached to near extinction. The clams are an important part of the reef ecosystem as well as traditionally being an important food source, and could have significant commercial potential. The giant clam (Tridaona gigas) which is the biggest mollusc in the world, can grow up to one metre in lenght and attain a weight of 600 kg. The part for which it is exploited, the adductor muscle, sells for US$10 per kg fresh and US$100 per kg smoked. Previously, T. gigas had been found too difficult to culture. Now, groups working in the Pacific, including James Cook University JCU), Australia, and the International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management's (ICLARM) Coastal Aquaculture Centre in the Solomon Islands, have since overcome most of the cultural problems. Meanwhile, the Micronesian Mariculture Development Centre (MMDC) in Palau and the University of Papua New Guinea, concentrated culture work on the second largest species of giant clam, Tridaona devasa. In 1986 the UK Overseas Development Administration (ODA) funded a project to provide a manager and equipment to develop an economically viable clam hatchery at the Coastal Aquatic Centre in the Solomon Islands. Now the output of the hatchery is rapidly approaching its target of 250,000 one-yearold clams per year. Once mariculture has become commercially viable, attention can be turned to reseeding suitable areas of reef with clams from the hatcheries. These commercial clams will then take the poaching pressure off the wild- clams while allowing the reefs to return to their natural balance. The significance of the giant clams and the reef environment feature prominently in the recently released ODA video 'Planting a Future - the ODA and the Environment'. Mr. P Gately - Room 918 - ODA Eland House - Stag Place London SW1E 5DH - UK