There are a few clams we call the giant, but the Tridacna gigas is king of them all. It is likely the most important animal in the history of the Pacific, and unfortunately, in much of its historical habitat it happens to be functionally extinct. But here in Kosrae island Martin Selch and his team at the Kosrae National Aquatic Center (NAC) are aiming to save it. And that’s not an idle boast. After a successful spawning in 2020, just this month they’ve begun reintroduction of the Gigas to the Kosraean reef. The exact first steps towards rewilding back from extinction.
But the future of the NAC revolves around funding, and they are far outside the eyes of international charity. They have to find a way to do it themselves. And to continue their quest to repopulate the Gigas, they aim to sell the meat of the more easily-reared Hippopus hippopus, another giant clam long considered a delicacy in many Pacific Rim societies. The infrastructure required to fill that market could in turn be used to bring back the larger and more important Gigas. Not for sale, but for Martin. A way to harvest seafood in a way that actually increases the wilding of nature, rather than lessens it. A truly brilliant idea. I couldn’t be more thankful that he’s doing it.
If you, or someone you know, wishes to support Martin on his journey, he is contactable through his email here: email@example.com. If you just wish to send him a nice message, please do so here in the comments so everyone can see. I’m certain he and his staff will all be reading.
Thank you Delphia. Thank you Martin. Thank you Alex, and everyone else taking care of the clams of Micronesia. For your dedication, for your uniqueness, for your hospitality. You may not get much of the world passing through who truly understand your farm’s value, but that doesn’t make your farm any less valuable to the world.
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