New critical discoveries resulting from the Yap 2014 breeding season research:

The latest spawning method I used always resulted in 100% viable eggs without any polyspermy. This because only clams with ripe eggs will spawn by this proven method.

My unique low-tech/high-density method overcomes the common pitfalls reported in the scientific literature such as: mass mortalities after fertilisation, at the trochophore stage and at the metamorphosis stage. With this ingenious but simple method these issues are drastically reduced for maximum survival without the use of antibiotics and/or drain-down.

My most important breakthrough is a new natural larval feeding method with no need for algal cultures that delivers close to 100% larval settling rate, as well as 100% zooxanthellae uptake by pediveligers during metamorphosis.
I also developed several new ways to avoid fouling and mortality of small juvenile clams after settling; these resulted in faster than average growth rates, even at very high population densities.

These discoveries do allow large numbers of juvenile giant clam spat to be produced at commercially viable costs similar to the costs associated with oyster and other shellfish industries, at about 1 - 2 cts/each. 

Plus my newly developed sub-surface floating modular nursery system is economical, fast and easy to assemble, versatile and long-lasting, low maintenance and most importantly it keeps the stock safe from natural predators and severe adverse weather conditions as well.


For the first time in aquaculture history, all known giant-clam farming hurdles have been overcome and the fundamental conditions are at last favorable for economically viable large scale mariculture of giant-clams for the aquarium industry and Asian sea-food markets.


Phil Dor, founder of TMDC.


PS: 
Due to a hostile take-over of the Yap hatchery by the locals, Yap will unfortunately be the only island in the Pacific where this new technology will not be available, see Yap's Saga page.


Below is a picture of the bamboo cage we tested in Yap and the rudimentary system used in French Polynesia; but the new cage I designed with PVC frames, fibreglass rods and shade cloth baskets will be very easy and fast to assemble, low in maintenance & super long lasting,
and is suitable for all sizes of juvenile clams, pearl-oysters, scallops & even coral farming.
 
 
Current status and prospects for cultured giant clams (2010)

Antoine Teitelbaum  Aquaculture Officer SPC & Kim Friedman Senior Reef fisheries Scientist. 

Studies into giant clam aquaculture initiated in the early 1980s developed the tools to mass-produce and culture all eight established species of giant clams. Altogether, 17 countries and territories of the Indo-Pacific region artificially propagated and cultured giant clams as a method for creating an export market for clam meat.

Over the past decade, the decline in production recorded after the initial phase of research is being reversed. There is now a resurgence of interest as government projects make way for private investment. Today there are more than 10 private ventures and 15 government-linked operations raising clams for the lucrative and well-established global aquarium market.

The current global production of wild and cultured giant clams is estimated at not more than 200,000 pieces per year. Traditional supply of wild live clams practissed by Vietnam, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Fiji Islands has decreased, with major cultured clam suppliers emerging in Tonga, Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands.

Recently, French Polynesia has developed a new aquaculture model that could see it dominate one sector of the giant clam aquarium market.

Profitable export of live products from the Pacific needs to overcome relatively high production and transport costs in an area where infrastructure is often limited. However, most Southeast Asian countries don’t allow the trade of Tridacnid species, which has left small island nations in the Pacific with an excellent marketing opportunity. Furthermore, the ease of access to natural resources (brood-stock), the pristine water quality at farming sites, and the ingenuity of private enterprise make giant clam farming a suitable activity for Pacific Island nations




Picture9m/1m/1m plus buried-in by 25cm !
Shown here is a good example of unsuitable hardware used in Pohnpei; these ancient concrete raceways are 'rough-as-guts' and cleaning small juvenile clams is practically impossible without having a 'massacre' on your hands!   
Concrete raceways are totally unsuitable for the first 3 months of the early life of juvenile giant clams; this cost saving method becomes very expensive when it fails to deliver good results as mentioned here above.

Unfortunately most Pacific hatcheries use the same or more primitive tanks & raceways and have no budget to upgrade. This unfortunate situation has lasted for almost 25 years!


Similar size fibre-glass raceways are sold in China for under $1500 and fit 14 in a shipping container;  by far the best investment or upgrade any hatchery can ever do. 


Picture
Harvesting juvenile clams at the Okinawa Fisheries Research Center
The Okinawa Research Centre is producing 100.000 T.Crocea seed-clams per year to distribute to the local fishermen for replanting in the wild. The survival rate on the reefs is about 40% and this would give 2.6 Ton of Himejako at harvest 5 years later, or about 0.5% of what the industry harvested in the seventies.  To farm Crocea clams of 8cm will take only 3 years in the Pacific region.

 
Please see here a T.crocea seedling production workshop in Okinawa:
 http://www.pref.okinawa.jp/saibai/gijutsu-kensyu/120626hime-kensyu/120626hime-kensyu.htm