Economics of giant clam (Tridacnid) mariculture
ACIAR Project No 8332 (replaced by 8733) has resulted in considerable advances in the scientific and technical passibilities for giant clam mariculture. The present project will provide an in-depth study of the economics of such mariculture, particularly in relation to: markets, marketing and trade; production economics and supply (mainly at the level of primary production); identification of marine property rights in the Pacific Islands; its value as a possible contributor to the development of less-developed countries in the Indo-Pacific region. It also builds on a recent review of the economic and socioeconomic potential of giant clam culture and will complement other current studies (including a related one by the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture (CTSA), Hawaii).
The team will assess the international trade statistics as an indicator of market valuea for giant clam products (mainly meat, but also shells) and demand for them. Some statistics on 'substitute' products will be examined in cooperation with the South Pacific Trade Commission (SPTC). Australian development and trade data will be collected from exporters in the South Pacific. Direct visits to Australian importers/exporters involved in the trade and/or in mariculture will also provide information. Apart from considering market aspects as seen by these companies, the project will take account of technology-transfer aspects. Data on the implications of CITES (the Convention on International Trede in Endangered Species) for international trade in giant clam products will be collected and interpreted. Involvement in CTSA market analysis will depend on the Center's Project Work Group. However, a desk-top study of international market prodpects wil draw on the CTSA, SPTC and other studies.
To identify countries and areas where property-right factors are most favourable for the development of giant clam mariculture, the team will conduct a general review of reef and marine property rights in the South Pacific, and investigate these in greater depth in selected countries. After considering customary reef tenure and sharing arrangements in relation to reef resources and production, they will determine the probable viability of commercial or subsistence development and outline the most appropriate property-rights or tenurial arrangements.
Studies of production economics and supply will cover factors likely to influence the supply of giant clam products and its expansion. Estimates of production functions and cost functions in nursery operations and in growth phases will allow for economies of scale and sensitivity of production to prices. To the extent it is practical, the project will also assess the economic value of possible technological or biological advances.
After reviewing the factore that determine the species' economic suitability or otherwise for mariculture,the team will assess comparative economic prospects of South Pacific countries for such mariculture in reation to exports, domestic markets and subsistence use, drawing on other sections of the project, and will prepare country-status reports.
Output from the project will include working papers and/or research reports on a regular basis - as a series, to provide a continuous record - as well as published research papers and a final report summarising the study and its results.
This proposed research will benefit all countries in the Indo-Pacific region with environmental conditions suitable for mariculture of giant clams, especially Australia,with its extensive tropical coastline, South Pacific countries including atoll countries, and Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia. The constituent study of market possibilities in Japan, China and elsewhere has implications for all potential exporters of clam products from the region.
There are no project locations defined for this project.