A reef aquarium is a rather new item for aquarium hobbyists in Japan. The number of reef aquariums is still small and, therefore, the market for marine invertebrates including giant clams is very small. However, there are several factors that could stimulate the market expansion for giant clams in Japan as cited below:
Coral reef is attracting attention of the people, and giant clams is an important member of coral reef community.
The development in aquarium technology makes the rearing of corals and giant clams in aquariums at home easier.
Giant clams can attract hobbyists due to there beautiful mantle color and pattern as well as their unique biological characteristics.
The sole source of giant clams for the Japanese market is Okinawa and Amami-ohshima at present. There is still a market demand and the supply from southern Japan is insufficient to fill the gap between demand and supply. Therefore, even now, a market exists for giant clams cultured in the Pacific island countries. In order to supply the Japanese market, these countries should further refine their technologies to artificially produce quality clams in constant numbers.
The potential competition for giant clams from the Pacific island countries would be those from Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia and the Philippines. The strategy advised to stay ahead in the competition, is to begin experimental export of giant clams at the earliest in cooperation with marine organisms importers or wholesalers in Japan. The specifications of a test consignment of giant clams are recommended as follows:
|(1)Species||:||Those with mantle of brilliant color or beautiful pattern, regardless of the species.|
|(2)Size||:||5 to 8 cm.|
|(3)Volume||:||50 to 100 pieces per shipment.|
|(4)Numbers||:||Three shipments, one shipment every month.|
|(5)Packing||:||Two to five pieces are to be packed in two layer plastic bags with seawater and oxygen. The bags should be kept in a styrofoam box, and then the styrofoam box is to be placed in a carton box. Old newspapers are to be put between the two layers of plastic bags to prevent puncture. Temperature should be kept around 20°C during transportation.|
|(6)Other items||:||To ship other items suitable for display in a reef aquarium, such as soft corals and coral base rocks, together with giant clams. An attractive catalogue showing price and color picture of items should be prepared. If possible digital color pictures should be sent to the Japanese importers by e-mail before proceeding with the experimental export.|