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Clam culture in the Venice lagoon: stock assessment of Manila clam (Venerupis philippinarum) populations at a nursery site and management proposals to increase clam farming sustainability

  • Rossella Boscolo Brusà (a1), Federica Cacciatore (a1), Emanuele Ponis (a1), Emiliano Molin (a2) and Eugenia Delaney (a2)...


The Venice lagoon is the main Manila clam (Venerupis philippinarum) production site in Europe. Following the unsustainable exploitation of this site (free-access fishery) local authorities have been striving to regulate fishing activities and most clams are produced using mollusc culture techniques based on wild spat harvesting and on its seeding in appropriate, designated culture areas. Therefore, the quality and abundance of wild clam stocks are critical factors that could limit the full development of this activity. The present study aims at assessing Manila clam stocks (spat, adults per square meter) using ordinary kriging, in an area of the Venice lagoon located near the Porto Marghera industrial zone. Previous studies have identified this area as one of the most important natural clam settlement sites in the Venice lagoon. The study area was approximately 1085 ha; 46 sampling stations were examined. Stock assessment (animals were grouped by size and age group), biomass and correlation with sediment texture were evaluated. The results obtained and comparisons with studies from the literature enabled an estimation of clam recruitment potential and an analysis of the conservation status of clam stocks. Thereafter, in view of a full reclamation and an ecological restoration of the study area, different measures are proposed for the sustainable use of this area that include the establishment of a biological protection area and a shared and rational management of the nursery area; these measures could potentially increase the sustainability of clam culture in the Venice lagoon.


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Clam culture in the Venice lagoon: stock assessment of Manila clam (Venerupis philippinarum) populations at a nursery site and management proposals to increase clam farming sustainability

  • Rossella Boscolo Brusà (a1), Federica Cacciatore (a1), Emanuele Ponis (a1), Emiliano Molin (a2) and Eugenia Delaney (a2)...


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