Southern giant clams (Tridacna derasa) that were seized by customs officials in London have found a new home at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire, according to a press release sent out by the aquarium. The five clams, which can grow 23 inches wide, were initially housed in quarantine at the London Zoo after their seizure.
“We’ve volunteered to look after five of the giant clams here at the aquarium and they are impressive looking specimens,” said Assistant Curator Andrea Swatman. “They are one of the largest types of giant clam in the world. They are also known as the smooth giant clam as the shell is quite flat in appearance and it is only when they begin to open out that you get to see the beautiful colors and markings of the mollusk inside.”
Giant clams can be found in waters of the Indo-Pacific, including waters off the countries of Australia, Cocos Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vietnam. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed Tridacna derasa as vulnerable in the wild. They are reared in aquaculture farms for the aquarium and food trade, primarily at the MMDC Giant Clam Hatchery in Palau.
For more information on keeping giant clams that are widely available in the aquarium trade, click here.