The conference was aimed at evaluating the potential current status of clam production, scientific and technological solutions in the hatchery, breeding, and production of commercial clam. Since then, this will bring forward solutions for sustainable clam production in Viet Nam. Attending the conference were over 100 delegates who are the managers of the Directorate of Fisheries and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of provinces having clam production activities, researchers, clam farmers, and clam processing & exporting businesses in Viet Nam.
Over the past recent years, molluscs culture in general and especially, clam farming in particular has made important contributions to economic development, to poverty alleviation and significantly improved livelihoods of people living in coastal areas of Viet Nam. However, clam farming has been currently facing difficulties and challenges such as the decline of resources, impacts of environmental pollution, and climate change.
In the framework of the project of Inclusive and Sustainable Clam Value Chain Development in Viet Nam (SCBV) sponsored by the European Union, International Collaborating Center for Aquaculture and Fisheries Sustainability (ICAFIS) coordinated with a scientific research team to assess the clam resources in 3 provinces of Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, and Tien Giang. Research results have shown that, in the period 2010 - 2019, most of the clam grounds in 3 provinces tended to narrow the culture area with an average decrease of 21.7% and change the distribution of position in the direction far away from the land. Over the past few years, due to unpredictable effects of climate change and saltwater intrusion, farmed clam has been continuously killed in most of the coastal provinces having clam farming in the Mekong River Delta. Typically, in the clam farming area of Go Cong Dong district of Tien Giang province, from October to December 2018, the mortality rate of clam reached 70 - 90% at the moment when commercial clams was at the age of harvest. Even in January 2020, a mass death of clam occurred in Ben Tre and Tien Giang provinces with a mortality rate of 80 - 90% resulting in estimated loss of more than VND 70 billion.
Facing the challenges and difficulties that mollusc farming in general and especially clam farming in particular, at the conference, speakers, scientists, representatives of management agencies discussed scientific and technological solutions to efficiently produce clam seed and commercial clam, exchange of experience in developing models of farming commercial clam and clam seed in Bac Lieu province, in building a clam farming chain conformable to MSC and ASC standards in Tien Giang province.
Participants also suggested that it is necessary to fully evaluate main causes affecting the clam farming, make planning and remedial measures, promptly respond, as well as proposed solutions for sustainable clam production. In addition, close co-operation between management agencies, scientific and researchers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), clam farming households, cooperatives and businesses is also an important factor to reach the sustainable clam culture development in Viet Nam.