Giant clams are some of the most enigmatic creatures both on the reef, and in the aquarium. Over the years we’ve written countless stories about the multitude of species of Tridacna and Hippopus from all over the world, culminating with a visit to the Palau Mariculture Demonstration Center (PMDC).
In early 2017, after a lifetime of hearing about this fabled facility for breeding this ginormous bivalves, we finally got the chance to visit the heart of coral culture while visiting Biota Palau. It wasn’t until we arrived at the PMDC that we learned of its imminent demolition to be replaced by a much larger and newer facility, and that our video tour would be the last of its kind at the historic clam farm.
It’s been a little over two years and we are pleased to learn that the PMDC has reopened with a complete overhaul to its giant clam ‘seed’ production facility. Interestingly, much like a fish hatchery, the PMDC is less concerned with growing out their shelled offspring and more focused on producing small ‘seed’ specimens to sell to local villagers and fishermen for them to raise in their own farm plots in the sea.
When we dove around Palau, we were struck with how many clams were actually on the reef, no doubt explained by the ready availability of giant clams to grow out from the PMDC. A lot of stories like the one of the PMDC could have easily culminated with the closure of the facility after a long fabled history, but we are beyond thrilled to know that the PMDC will continue its mission of raising upwards of a million baby giant clams every year and it has a new lease on life with a brand new, modern facility. [Island Times]