Shellfish Production

Geoduck Clams (Panopea generosa): Geoducks are the world’s largest burrowing clams and are prized in China for texture and taste of their neck meat.  The APSH is one of the few hatcheries in the world to produce geoduck spat.  Demand for geoduck spat is high despite seed pricing far above other shellfish species.  Culture methods are similar to most other bivalve clams.  The broodstock is placed in shallow tanks in heated seawater.  Larvae are transferred to the 22,000 liter tanks and fed algae until they are large to be filtered by a 250 micron screen.  The larvae set within three weeks while being continuously fed algae diets.  The small seed (1.5 mm) are then transferred to a shallow tank lined with 3-6 inches of sand.  The spat is fed algae continuously until the shellfish reach 4-6 mm.   seed-slider3 Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas): Virtually every Alaska’s aquatic farms selling product in 2007 are based upon oyster production.  Alaskans have been planting oyster seed since the 1930s, and the species is likely to remain the seed of choice for the industry for at least another decade.  Pacific oysters also are farmed throughout the world and hatchery culture practices are well understood.  At this point in time, APSH does not intend to spawn adult oysters to produce spat for Alaska farmers in the foreseeable future.  Since Alaska shellfish nursery operators have the ability to purchase oyster spat from Outside hatcheries and APSH can’t compete with these producers on a cost per unit basis, it makes little sense for the hatchery to focus on this market.  The cost of heating ambient water from 6-80 C. to 200 C. at the Seward hatchery is an obvious problem when the competition has incoming water at the right temperature.  Nevertheless, it is important that APSH continue to offer to produce oyster spat from imported seed to Alaskan farmers, if ordered in advance.     cockles_webcockle 8mo 11   8 months old     Basket Cockles (Clinocardium nuttallii): A recent study of culturing basket cockles in Alaska concluded that cockles hold promise as a potential shellfish crop for Alaska growers, but a lot more R&D work must be accomplished before the species is commercialized.  APSH plans to continue to produce cockle spat to support R&D work and to supply potential enhancement projects.  Culture methods for cockles are similar to those for other cold water bivalves.