Clams touted for ‘sea flower garden’

Kyodo

The Okinawa Prefectural Sea Farming Center is speeding up aquaculture of “himejako” clams, popular in the prefecture for sushi and sashimi, to attract tourists.

The center said the clams, also known by their Latin name of Tridacna crocea, are being planted in nearby coastal areas, where tourists will be able to enjoy the vividly colored mollusks as if they were in “a flower garden in the sea.”

Himejako clams, which grow to 10 cm or more in length, inhabit coral reefs in Okinawa Prefecture.

Colorful lips in several colors, such as bright blue and green, are visible between the shells, which makes them attractive to tourists.

Because the period required to grow the clams stretches for four to six years, by which time they are edible, the center decided to draw tourists by publicizing the locations of sites around the Motobu area where immature clams have been planted.

After planting 1,440 young mollusks last June, the center plans to nurture 4,320 more between this May and August.