Biotechnology development for geoduck clam growing moves forward

[Mexico] A team of scientists from the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca) and specialized technicians of Mary Tierra Cooperative Society has achieved several advances in the development of biotechnology for growing geoduck clam (Panopea generosa).

The group hopes that progress achieved over three years of research will allow repopulation of this resource in its natural environment and its reproduction through aquaculture processes.

Researcher Laura Mondragon Mota, project leader, said that they currently have over 500,000 bivalve mollusc larvae at various stages of growth, and their biological and health status is continuously monitored during the day.

She also stressed that one of the remarkable advances of this initiative is the implementation of food techniques based on microalgae.

The goal of scientists is to promote optimal larval-chemical development. To this end, physicochemical monitoring is performed to check the quality of the water where the larvae are kept.

This care is intensive until the organisms reach their post larval stage, when they are more resistant and susceptible of development.

The clams need of intensive watch to reach a size of 30 mm, when they can be returned to their natural environment to repopulate areas for development and reproduction.

Geoduck clams require four to six years to reach market size.

Mondragon Mota said that they have been able set Biofloc system, which involves the application of procedures for the proper management of water quality, which helps to minimize or avoid refilling of the vital liquid.

This study was carried out in the laboratories of Mar y Tierra Cooperative Society. The entity houses a strain collection, a conservation area for microalgae to feed geoduck larvae, a solarium for mass production of microalgae, a cultivation area, a sector for microscopes and high-tech instrumentation and a space for the maintenance of breeding stock with potential to release over a million eggs at a time.

Geoduck can grow to 100 centimetres with its siphon extended. It reproduces only in Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Argentina and the western coast of the United States and Canada.

In the country, it is produced in the coastal communities of San Felipe, Percebeu, Puertecitos and Bahia de los Angeles, in the Gulf of California; and in the Pacific coast it thrives in Islotes Coronados (Popotla), Ensenada, Santo Tomas, Erendira, Camalu, Colonet, San Quintin, El Rosario, Punta Blanca, El Faro de San Jose and Santa Rosaliita.

This mollusc has a strong demand, especially in Asian countries, where it is consumed as sushi or soup.


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