| || || Maybin, Jean A.|
| || || Ecological and taxonomic aspects of Andara (Mollusca : Bilvalvia) in Fiji and some neighbouring island groups|
Author:Maybin, Jean A.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Bivalvia -- Fiji, Mollusks -- Fiji -- Geographical distribution
Call No.: pac QL 430 .7 .A64 M39
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Although bivalves of the genus Anadara. arc an important traditional source of dietary protein for indigenous Fijians living in the coastal areas of the larger Fiji Islands, these shellfish have received very little scientific attention (Uwatc, et, g_L, 1984). Indeed, even shell collectors have tended to ignore them because their shells arc not particular!}' attractive, being a very ordinary shape and rather drab in colour. In rural areas, villagers living near th'e coastal mudflats glean for Anadara by raking through the surface layer of sandy-mud with their fingers or toes, or alternatively with a knife. It is not unusual for women to spend the hours of low tide searching the mudflats for these and other edible molluscs. Some harvesting is carried out on a more intensive scale for sale by the basketful in urban markets. For example, about fifty baskets of Anadara - each containing one hundred or so are sold at the Suva market each week for one dollar a basket. In this case, the Anadara come from Namara in Tailevu, which is about thirty kilometers from Suva (Fig. 3). Similarly, women in the greater Suva area glean the mudflats from Cave Island to Laucala Island, for a selection of molluscs with which to feed their families. Occasionally, scientific reports of the Fiji Government Ministry of Primary Industries, connected with fisheries research and development have mentioned Anadara as a possible species for nquncuJturc, (Navakalomara, 1982). However, this has never been followed up and Anadara have not been cultivated in Fiji as they have in Japan and South 6 East Asia (Rabnnal ct. a t , 1981). There lias however, been considerable research and cultivation of the better known bivalves, oysters fCrassostrea spp.) and green mussels (Perna vi rid is) in several areas of Fiji. It is possible that if Anadara were cultivated in Fiji the product would be too highly priced for the local market and its value as an export item would be doubtful, as westerners generally arc not familiar with the species. Probably the first scientific account relating to Anadara in Fiji was that published by H.J. Squires cj. ah, in the Fiji Journal of Agriculture in 1973, Squires, who was working for the Fiji Government at the lime, carried out a survey to estimate tJic annual removal rate of cockles (Anadara spp.) and surf clams fLatona spp.) from Wailoalon Beach, Ntuli. Their objective was to obtain data from which an estimate of annual income that villagers living in the area might reasonably expect. Thus, using transects and quadrats, the population density of A n d a i a in the Wailoalon area was estimated. A. J, Butler's report (1983) to the Institute of Marine Resources, USP, appears to be the only other published account of biological data concerning the Fiji Anadara species. This report incorporates daia collected by USI' (IMR) students, relating to catch numbers and size- frequencies (B. Chand, 1980 - unpublished student manuscript report) together with data on inorphometrics, population density, gonnd states, weight of the soft parts, cpibiota and parasites, based on work carried out by the author and M. G. King (IMR) d u r i n g 1,981 and early 1982. 7 Prior to the above study> Butler (1983) carried out a literature search and came to the conclusion that "Little appears to have been published on the ecology of the Arcidae generally, and nothing has been recorded about the ecology of kaikoso in Fiji." A similar situation exists in the other South Pacific island states of Vanuntu, Samoa and Tonga. Very little information is available concerning the ecology, taxonomy, distribution or general biology of native Anadara species. Mention in most publications is limited to species lists, poster diagrams and inshore fisheries market surveys (Lewis, 1986; Zann et. aj,, 1984a, 1984b; Spenncmann, 1987). On the other hand, there appears to be a fairly extensive literature on species of Anadara that arc cultivated in the northern hemisphere, i.e. A. granosn in Malaysia, A. subcrenata in Japan and A., broughioni in Japan and Korea, Much of this work has been reviewed by Broom (1985), however, the only South Pacific species that Broom mentions in this publication is A. cornea and he refers to Butler (unpublished data). Therefore, the objectives of the following investigations were threcfold:- 1. To establish how many species of Anadara inhabit the coasial margins of Fiji and determine which species they are. 2. To investigate two ecological aspects of the most common species found in Fiji, size-frequency distribution and relative abundance on the Suva Point-Muanivatu mudflats, and seasonal condition of the gonads. 3. To compare the taxonomic status of the species of Anadara found in Fiji with tliat of the species found in Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga. Data for the project were collected over a four year period on a part-time basis (1985 - 1988), with funding provided by the University of the South Pacific Research Committee (0701-0065).