A newspaper feature on “Reintroducing giant clams into Singapore waters” by local Chinese papers (Lian He Zao Bao). (Also see NUS News.)

Additional link: http://news.news-com.cn/a/20150111/1153790.shtml

Giant clam_Jan14

Brief Summary:

Singapore used to host 5 species of giant clams, but 2 of them are locally extinct (Hippopus hippopus and Tridacna gigas). Surveys between 2009 and 2014 on 29 reef sites (of the Southern shores) showed the presence of 3 species, with a total abundance of ~104 individuals. To protect these species, as well as their beneficial roles on the coral reef ecosystems, with the funding support by National Parks Board, NUS set up a giant clam hatchery in 2012 on the marine laboratory at St John’s Island (Tropical Marine Science Institute). One of the current programme looks at reintroducing the Tridacna gigas, where researchers have imported ~50 sub-adult individuals. Researchers need to wait for these clams to grow up to 70cm before they can be used for spawning reproduction. The other programme looks at restocking the Tridacna squamosa by breeding and culturing them. Researchers are hoping to continue to breed this species, until they reach escape size for putting out into the reefs in cages. Researchers emphasised the importance of giant clams in coral reef ecosystems – as contributors of carbonate, as providers of shelters, counteract against eutrophication, etc etc…