Clam farming in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam
- The Mekong Delta region in southern Vietnam has high potential for coastal aquaculture, including mollusc culture. Many mollusc species are cultured for domestic and export markets including white clam (Meretrix lyrata Showerby) and blood cockle (Arca granosa). Techniques for clam farming include the nursery and grow-out phases. At present, there are approximately 600 coastal families engaged in clam farming over a total area of 1,870 ha, of which 82.63% is used for the grow-out phased and 17.7% for the nursery phase. Nursery areas are near the coast and receive less than 5 hours of sunlight per day. The average area for a nursery is 3-4 ha and it is fenced with a net or bamboo stakes to prevent clams from escaping and to prevent water currents from carrying them away. Grow-out farm areas are further from the coast and are exposed to sunlight for only 2-3 hours/day. Average farm area for grow-out is 5-6 ha, and may or may not be fenced. Average operating cost is US$1100 per ha for nursery and US$757 per ha for grow-out (the cost of capital assets are not included) with loans being the main source of financial. Problems for clam farmers in the area include natural phenomena, inadequate culture techniques, lack of financing or credit systems, and marketing. Environment-related problems that cause clam mortality include flooding, and freshwater effluent and siltation or sedimentation from Mekong River. Other problems that constrain the development of clam culture in the area are: marketing problems such as lack of buyers and price fluctuations; exploitation of the natural clam populations.
- Sustainable aquaculture 
- Journal Article