The deployment of Clam and Sandfish farming Program in Maiana to enhance the Marine Food Sources for Maiana Island Communities.

Fisheries officials visited Maiana in May to carry out the deployment of the clam, collect the matured maxima and Hippopus (hippopus) for broodstock and to identify potential sites for sandfish farming.

The program is in response to concerns raised during the Community Based Fisheries Management (CBFM) consultation in May 2019 about the decline in the abundance of these fisheries’ marine resources and the threat to their livelihood, in particular the depletion in the number of clams as one of their marine food sources.

One of the local divers on the island assisted in guiding the Fisheries team to sites where clams can be collected, providing an insight on the decline in the stock of the hippopus clam (te neitoro).

Mr Tibwere Tawerio said, “We used to harvest hippopus clam in shallower waters whereas at present they can only be found at deeper waters within the minimum depth of 5 meters.”

A total of 300 maxima clams (te were) had been deployed into two potential sites which for proposed marine protected areas (MPAs), adjacent to Bubutei and Tebikerai and five potential sites had been identified for sand fishing in Tematangtongo.

The officials indicated that a monitoring exercise will also be conducted in order to keep the program successful and to ensure the life of the clams are protected in their new habitat. These clams are expected to be matured in two to three years’ time and the MPAs are envisaged to become a spawning ground for maxima clam in the future.

The target of this program is to maintain the long term social and economic benefits to communities from their marine resources by enhancing the stock in the MPAs.

There is a plan to engage communities to look after the MPA through the Community Based Fisheries Management Plan.

For further information Contact

Bweneata Kaoti (Ms)

Project Advocacy Officer – PAO; Project Management Unit – PMU

Environment and Conservation Division, MELAD, 75228211,75228000,

Maxima Clam deployed in MPAs

Hippopus & Maxima collected

Broodstock collection site

Deployment of Maxima clams