Research & Development
  • Giant clam

    Giant clam aquaculture is conducted on Aitutaki Islands at the Araura Marine Research Station operated by the Ministry of Marine Resources.

    Local species of tridacna maxima, t. squamosa are being raised. In addition the station is working with stocks of introduced t. derasa, t. gigas and hippopus hippopus.

    Giant clams are being restocked into a marine reserve area where it has become a prominent tourist attraction. Some clams are being exported for the aquarium trade.

    - T.maxima and T.derasa were successfully spawned at the hatchery in the late 1991

    - Improved larva techniques from James Cook University were used in the hatchery which included:Treating the eggs with antibiotics, Selecting the fittest larvae, Using flow through culture tanks, Feeding the larva with artificial food

    - Problems encountered: Lack of mains electricity, Freshwater, Hatchery not well protected from cyclone

    - Accomplishments of the Project: establishment of an operational shellfish hatchery on Aitutaki, Training of MMR staff in giant clam mariculture , production of clam seed

    Future prospects

    Formalized a Development Plan for Clam

    Encourage locals to establish clam farms for the Aquarium trade (seeds to be provided from the hatchery