The VISION of YMDC: the future of giant clam farming.
James Cook University in Townsville (Queensland, Australia) could do it on Orpheus island over twenty five years ago; there is no reason why this can not be repeated in other suitable island locations!
to see please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR8fAdFYUNc
At the same time another research Institution the MMDC in Palau managed by G. Heslinga till 1995 also clearly demonstrated the feasibility of large scale commercial farming of Giant Clams destined to the Asian sea-food markets, his comprehensive informative ebook for iPad etc is available from:
The T.Gigas clams shown on this JCU video would be in high demand on the Chinese market, probably fetching a price of around $100.00 each. However they will need over 10 years to reach a harvest size and this is a too long period without income for any aquaculture enterprise to overcome.
However there is an alternative solution to this "conundrum" by starting first the production of T.Crocea for the Japanese market, because these clams will take only 2.5 to 3 years to reach harvestable size, a delay very similar to oysters and mussels aquaculture in temperate zones.
Also, an entirely new market has recently been revealed in Hainan (China), where smaller clams are now a 'must' for wedding banquets. This development opens the door for a shorter grow-out phase for the 2 largest clam species as marketing of these clams could now start in only 2.5 to 3 years, instead of the 10 years previously needed for the production of adductor muscles of these large clams.
Pacific island communities with suitable lagoon areas are therefore in a much better position to take advantage of the Hainan dried mantle market as the new hatchery in Yap will be able to supply them with large numbers of seed-clams at highly subsidized prices.
Part of the sales to the Hainan & Japanese markets can be utilized every year to also grow out some T.Gigas in protected nursery sites for close to 3 years before these can then be relocated without any protection and/or maintenance to suitable lagoon sites until harvest 7 - 8 years later for their adductor muscle, processed mantle meat and large shells for the handicraft industry.
The appetite for giant clams in Asia can be considered as almost unlimited; Dr Murakoshi estimated the potential market on mainland Japan at 500 million clams per year @ $2.50 - $3.00 each. In China, the middle class population is now more numerous than the entire population of the USA or Europe and their cultural traditions entice them to eat more expensive and exclusive sea-food products; the potential Chinese market alone has been estimated by a recent market research to start at 5000 Tons per year with a value in the future of close to a billion dollars, enough for dozens of farms to start producing as soon as possible.
Plus, the aquaculture of giant clams may generate additional high value sea-food products such as sea-cucumbers and Trochus Shells as well!