TOKORIKI Island Resort and the Ministry of Fisheries' giant clam regeneration project has successfully planted 500 clams of a species that became extinct about 40 years go.
The 14-year-old project is located in waters around Tokoriki Island in the Mamanucas.
Three species of clams were reintroduced to west Fiji — Tridacna Giga, Tridacna Squamosa and Tridacna Derasa — after becoming extinct in the 1960s.
Members of Dive Tokoriki, Will Wragg and Alex Garland started the project in 2000 and they worked with the Ministry of Fisheries to choose the best sites for clam regeneration.
"Our latest batch of clams, 104 in number, were planted in October 2012 and we are hoping for another 200 next year," they said.
"When the clams were planted, they measured about five centimetres long and weighed a few grams. Now they are over 80cm and weigh 50kilograms, making Tokoriki's clams the largest in Fiji, apart from the fisheries brood stock."
The project was funded by the resort and the Tokoriki giant clam regeneration site has been used by the University of the South Pacific as a successful eco-tourism project case study, as well as by the Mamanuca Environment Society.
"The project has also been used as a case study by the government of Singapore which needed information from us regarding how to set up a giant clam regeneration program.
"The clam reseeding is one of the many environmental projects that we take part in — coral planting, beach clean-ups, reef checks and fish surveys."