Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Giant Clams bring new industry potential

The Country Liberals Government is delivering on its commitment to assist Indigenous communities to develop new economic opportunities, with a third batch of Giant Clams exported to the United States.

Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries Willem Westra van Holthe said the trial program is proving to be extremely successful, with an expansion into Europe planned.

“After more than 10 years of research by scientists at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre (DAC), we are seeing amazing results that mean we can now look to expand the trial into Germany,” Minister Westra van Holthe said.

“The team at DAC is currently working on sending around 100 clams to the aquarium market in Germany. Taking clams from the NT heat to winter in Europe will require careful management, something the DAC team are becoming specialists in.  

“Last month, 400 clams were shipped to the United States, where they had a 98 per cent survival rate; this is the third successful shipment this year and gives us an understanding of market fluctuation over a 6-month period.

“DAC will develop a standard operating procedure from the market research, which will assist local businesses plan their own shipments and provide a go-to guide for export,” Minster Westra van Holthe said.

Indigenous communities including Goulburn Island, Nhulunbuy and Groote Eylandt are taking part in the pilot program, with more than 20,000 clams already successfully produced from a Government/industry partnership.

Minister Westra van Holthe said the Country Liberals Government is committed to empowering Indigenous communities across the Top End.

“We were elected on a platform to deliver economic opportunities to Indigenous people and that is what we are doing. This trial opens pathways for remote Indigenous communities to become involved in the international aquarium trade which is active across Asia, Europe and America,” Minister Westra van Holthe said.

“There is enormous potential within the industry; worldwide the aquarium trade is worth in excess of $1 billion annually and we hope the Territory can grab a slice of that market.”

Media Contact:

Casie Scott, 0432 453 225