Growth and dispersal of razor clam Solen dactylus in the mudflats of Indus Delta, Sindh Coast (Northern Arabian Sea).
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AbstractThe Razor clam Solen dactylus is being harvested for the last 10 years from mudflats in creeks of district Thatta. The results of water and soil quality samples indicate the suitability and support for growth, dispersal, production and reproduction of Solen dactylus occurring in Indus delta eco-region. Water quality parameters of creeks indicated the ranges of temperature of water and air 11 to 30 ℃ and 12 to 42℃, pH of water between 8.2 to 8.9, alkalinity of water 267 to 480 mg/l, hardness of water 620 to 1150 mg/l, salinity of water from 22 to 33 ppt. The soil samples of mudflats indicated silt clay 15 to 30%, sandy clay 20 to 40% and fine sand 30 to 40%. Spring, summer and early winter seasons are suitable timing for harvesting razor clam. However, winter cold and rainy seasons are not suitable for razor clam fishing. In winter, the animals become inactive and remain in deep barrows and do not come to the surface. In period of rainfall the razor clam holes were filled with fine silt thus large number of razor clam were affected and even deaths may have been caused if mudflats were exposed at the time of rain. The recorded mature size of razor clam ranged between length of 6 to 3.5 cm and weight 12 to 40 grams. A trained person dig-out 1.5 to 3 kg of razor clam in 12meter square in 20-40 minutes. Thus a person can exploit 10-20 kg of razor clam in a period of 3- 4 hours, hence 15 - 20 kg of live razor clam can be harvested in a day or night by a person when mudflat become exposed after tidal action. Coastal communities inhabiting creek areas are engaged in its harvesting using traditional techniques of using salt and probing with thin sticks and hauling razor clams from burrow during low tides when mudflats become exposed. It is concluded that Razor clam is an ecologically important group of marine organism, lives in mudflats and creek systems. Although the razor clams are not locally consumed by native people of Pakistan but it is a fishery having export value which foreign exchange earned by exporting it to South East Asian countries.
JournalPakistan Journal of Marine Sciences
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