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Market Research to Help Clam Aquaculture Development

FRENCH POLYNESIA - The Ministry of Marine Resources of French Polynesia is looking into developing giant clam aquaculture to improve the economic health of the remoter island groups.

Since 2001, the Marine Resources Department, LInstitut de recherche pour la dveloppement and the University of French Polynesia have been conducting research into giant clam stocks. The aim being to gather information on the sustainable collection and farming of this bivalve, PNC reports.

Large densities of giant clam have been found in the Tuamotu archipelago, making it suitable for the development of giant clam aquaculture.

Giant Clam aquaculture is favoured in French Polynesia as it requires very little investment. However, at present it only targets two niche markets and local demand is small.

Despite little knowledge of the larger market in clam flesh, the government hopes this will not hinder the research and work that has been done so far. In response, the Minister of Marine Resources, Temauri Foster, the Director of the French Development Agency, Frdric Audras and the President of the Tahiti Faahotu Innovation Centre, Didier Chomer, have agreed to conduct a market study.

Funding will come from the French Fund for the Global Environment, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) based in Noumea, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Marine Resources Department (DRM).

Lucy Towers

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