SALTONSTALL KENNEDY GRANT PROGRAM
Manila Clam Mortality and Health Evaluation
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA96FD0194          NMFS NUMBER:   99-NWR-014

REPORT TITLE:  Manila Clam Mortality and Health Evaluation

AUTHOR:  Pacific Shellfish Institute

PUBLISH DATE:  November 15, 2001

AVAILABLE FROM: National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Regional Office, 7600 Sand Point Way, NE, Seattle, WA 98115.  PHONE: (206) 526-6115

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE FINAL REPORT IN .PDF FORMAT

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ABSTRACT

CThe overall goal of this project was to initiate the establishment of production standards and a health baseline for intensive clam production on the west coast of the United States. The baseline data on manila clam health can be used to assist state and tribal shellfish biologists in assessments of public and tribal clam resources. The following tasks were proposed in order to implement these objectives and were fulfilled, with small modifications necessitated by results obtained during the study and additional input from shellfish producers during the study:

Task 1. Cooperative industry clam survival and performance study. Sites of intensive clam production were monitored over a one-year period using defined plots in which clam growth, survival, condition, and health was measured in conjunction with monitoring for a variety of environmental parameters. Clam growers participated directly in the study.

Task 2. Survey of clam health and disease in Washington, Oregon, and California. Adult and seed clams were examined histologically for the presence of infectious diseases to initiate a health baseline for clam production areas. As a result, a baseline of clam health for the west coast was established.

Task 3. Evaluation of short-term freezing and freshwater exposure effects on clams. Experimental studies were conducted at a clam production facility to define, in detail, tolerance of various clam populations to low-salinity exposures, followed by recovery periods. Additionally, clams were analyzed by detailed necropsy and histology methods in order to define the pathological criteria for the diagnosis of low-salinity and freezing condition exposures.

Task 4. Clam mortality response team. The project staff, along with associated scientists from the University of Washington, responded to several clam mortality events during the study.

 
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