Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Giant clams back from the brink

Several species of giant clam might now be extinct in parts of the Pacific if it hadn’t been for a series of ACIAR projects in the 1980s and 1990s. The story is told in the current Fiji Airways inflight magazine (July/August 2017 issue), and a more detailed version of the project’s legacy in the Philippines is found in the latest issue of  ACIAR's Partners magazine, focusing on our work in the Philippines.

Maintenance of the juvenile giant clams in the lagoon nursery
Of course, ACIAR isn’t a conservation organisation, and enhancing tourists’ snorkelling experiences isn’t a major work focus – though it’s a happy spin-off. Giant clams are a significant food source for many coastal communities, they are indicators of healthy reef systems and well-managed community fisheries, and they have income potential if market chains can be worked out.

Giant clams (Tridacna gigas) back from extinction in the Philippines
The projects developed aquaculture systems for giant clams that are still in use in several Pacific countries today. Over the years many thousands of giant clams have been restocked on Pacific reefs, to the delight of local communities and snorkelers, now and into the future.

Read about giant clams in our latest Partners magazine.

ACIAR project information
The culture of the giant clam for food and restocking of tropical reefs

Words and pictures from Anne Moorhead

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