Project number: 2009-208
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $296,960.00
Principal Investigator: Mark Gluis
Organisation: SARDI Food Safety and Innovation
Project start/end date: 31 Mar 2010 - 30 Mar 2013


The need for development of an Australian clam aquaculture industry comes from the fact that a large international market is prepared to pay a premium price for quality Australian clams, demand cannot be met by the wild fishery, and clam aquaculture has been successfully developed on a large scale overseas.

CCPL and other cockle fishers are finding that further expansion of their businesses is severely limited by the level of wild catch and as such are actively exploring aquaculture, the basis of this project proposal, to realise the potential of the markets they have developed. Their level of commitment is demonstrated by their contribution of $75,000 cash and $51,160 in-kind towards this project.

We believe that the potential viability of a clam culture industry compares well with the South Australian oyster industry:
- the price per kilogram is as good or better than for oysters;
- stocking levels are likely to be much higher per unit area of a lease, or per cylindrical basket on a longline;
- infrastructure costs are likely to be less if cultured in the sediments, or similar if using a longline system;
- handling, including rumbling and grading are likely to be less frequent; and
- the development of a clam culture industry is likely to occur in a shorter time frame due to the technical, biological and resource management experience gained from the shellfish industry.

Intertidal waters currently identified as being suitable for oyster culture are fully allocated in South Australia and the opportunities for growers to increase business revenue are limited. Clams can offer a new income stream from the same leases, from leases that have proven to be unsuitable for oyster culture, and from new areas.


1. Desktop study of previous research and international clam farming techniques and with a view to adopting existing technology where practicable to ensure project efficiency.
2. Determine suitable species using field and laboratory based trials.
3. Successful production of clam spat from hatchery reared larvae.
4. Production of a hatchery production manual for possible use by commercial hatcheries wishing to participate in the proposed clam culture industry
5. Undertake field evaluations for identification of likely commercial culture methods and site characteristics
6. Communication and technology transfer between industry participants and researchers in the form of workshops and written reports

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