NATION

Protect Giant Clams, Ecosystem: Fisheries

Broodstock giant clams (locally known as vasua) is a protected species, but it’s over exploitation in isolated reef systems around parts of Fiji has been quite obvious. The Department of
20 Jan 2017 11:56
Protect Giant Clams, Ecosystem: Fisheries

Broodstock giant clams (locally known as vasua) is a protected species, but it’s over exploitation in isolated reef systems around parts of Fiji has been quite obvious.

The Department of Fisheries has who revealed that they have found acres of reefs piled-high with dead and empty shells.

This discovery is particularly located on isolated reef systems across the Lau, Yasawa, and the Lomaiviti Group, said Deputy Secretary for Fisheries, Sanaila Naqali.

In an effort to train young officers on giant clam spawning and hatchery skills development, Mr Naqali said a workshop was underway to oversee this.

The two-week workshop at the Lami Fisheries Station was officially opened yesterday.

“Technical skills need to be passed on to the young officers so that they are able to continue with the great work that has been carried out so far,” Mr Naqali said.

“We lost most of the Broodstock giant clams that were at the ocean grow-out site at Dalice Bay in Makogai Island to Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“Also destroyed were one to two-year-old (and older batches) of baby giant clams at the hatchery and on the land-based nursery  tanks.

“We need to conserve, as well as protect the ecosystems, its distinct habitat units, as well as all its associated flora and fauna.”

The increase in market demands and the increasing population, has led to overfishing, he explained.

“Vasua stocks across Fijian reef systems were over-exploited (over-fished),” Mr Naqali said.

“Fiji is the only country whose waters have been extensively surveyed for the distribution of vasua stocks.” .

Through that survey, it was also found that a new species of vasua was found in Fiji, and is now on record with the scientific name, Tridacnateveroa (Vasuatevoro).

Two species of giant clams had been recently fished to extinction since the 1950s and 1960s, which were the vasuamatau (giant gigas -tridacnagigas) and the vasuateke-ni-ose or ququ-ni-ose (horse-hoof clam or hippopushippopus).

“We have successfully re-introduced and propagated ‘Vasua matau’ across many reefs in the country, and this is the main species that we are nurturing and distributing to all our local stakeholders for our reef-reseeding programs,” Mr Naqali said.

The 50 workshop participants will travel to Makogai Island later this week for a practical sessions.

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: