While I am in the midst of preparing for my presentation next week, I came across (again) this TEDxKamuela – Sunlight, symbiosis, and sustainable seafood by Gerald Heslinga: one of my heroes in conservation of giant clams! Dr. Heslinga has been working with these giants since he was 21! Having worked in mariculture for close to four decades, his passion in developing sustainable seafood production has come to fruition in the form of his company, Indo-Pacific Sea Farms.
In his TEDx talk, Dr. Heslinga proudly shared that as of 2014, he has found at least 34 active giant clam hatcheries globally. Located in 25 different countries, from the Micronesia to Australia, Asia and Indian Ocean. In fact, there is a lab in Brazil that is culturing a species of giant clam. He also shared why culturing giant clams can also benefit the society and economy in some of these nations. [P.S: Hard to spot Singapore on this map! 😛 ]
For giant clams, extinction is not an acceptable outcome. The technology now exists to prevent extinction, and to achieve conservation through domestication. Viable economic models have been demonstrated. Today’s challenge is to reach and persuade policymakers to apply what is already known. – Gerald Heslinga, Indo-Pacific Sea Farms
Catch his talk right here: