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Commercial bivalve hatcheries have been established and are becoming increasingly important for a number or reasons:

  1. Due to the effects of over-fishing becoming increasingly apparent in many commercially important species some countries are directing attention towards the artificial propagation of the above species as well as towards the cultivation of other non-endemic species of bivalves.

  2. Due to the limited supply of natural seed either due to low natural recruitment or poor spat forecasting and collection techniques.

  3. c) Due to the advantage of producing seed throughout the year under fairly controlled conditions.

  4. d) Production of triploids.

Bivalve hatcheries are in operation all over the world and have become an essential part of shellfish farming. Production methods and techniques are constantly being reviewed and improved. Where culture techniques are relatively well established three major elements contribute to the success of any hatchery operation; these being (1) available high quality broodstock, (2) suitable water quality, and (3) a reliable supply of algae in large quantities.

The following flow diagram illustrates the sequence of hatchery activities for bivalve seed production:

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