A Venetian company puts the floating system of protection and breeding in suspension into the water
07, Sep 2023
In the fight that took up space in the Italian news this summer, the one between man and the blue crab, the Sacca di Scardovari, in Porto Tolle (Rovigo), one of the areas hit by the fearsome predator, sets off an experiment for the systems floating protection and rearing of clams in suspension. Not only. The system to secure the clams of the Delta from the blue crab comes from Australia, even if it passes through an Italian company, precisely from the Veneto.
The idea was born from the agreement between the Polesine fishermen consortium and Aerre Automazioni of Chioggia which deals with the design and construction of machinery equipment for the industry. His are the machines for processing the clams in the deltino enclosure.
"We are evaluating alternative strategies that allow us to solve the blue crab problem and preserve our typicality - explains Luigino Marchesini, president of the Porto Tolle consortium structure -. This crustacean, as we have repeatedly reiterated, cannot replace an already established supply chain: if it were to contain it, it could accompany it, but we must and want to preserve our molluscs, a true delicacy that has made us known everywhere".
The ally in this battle is the Aerre of the brothers Alfredo and Roberto Bozzato who have moved to find this system which, if it proves to be successful, could meet the needs of an entire sector and indicate the way for the cultivation of the future of clams.
"We are one of the two companies in the world that build machines for the net packaging of molluscs - explains Alfredo Bozzato reported by Il Gazettino -. We have a 360-degree commitment, so much so that we are massively present on the foreign market. As soon as we learned about this emergency we moved to find an alternative to put at the service of the farmers because we are all part of the same productive gear: without fishermen our machines are useless".
Considering the difficulties in eradicating the blue crab plague, the basic idea is to be able to protect the capital, which in this case is represented by the clam. "We spoke with friends from Canada and the United States, as well as companies from the Atlantic -adds Bozzato-. We therefore called an Australian partner who uses this suspended farming system for oysters: within a week we had these plants arrive and they were put in the water to start testing because we need to understand whether it will work here or not with this type of mollusk. If it works, with this method the clams are safe, as if they were in a kind of vault".
Four systems have already been placed in the water: two more will be added to these. Each cage is equipped with 6 bags containing about ten kilos of clams for a total of 60 kilos each. Floating supports made of molded polyethylene were installed on the whole.
"They are medium-sized clams," underlines Emanuele Rossetti, a biologist of the Consortium who is studying all the phases. We focused on a high density in a small space to understand the resistance of the product, positioning it in an area where the best for growth, i.e. salinity, oxygen and phytoplankton production. We will evaluate the progress of growth as well as the possible death rate. The idea would be to achieve in this way the complete cycle of the clam: from the seed to the mature product , but we have to wait for the developments in the coming weeks".
The first positive note of the experimentation is that the cages resist the attack of the crabs: it will be necessary to see how the clams behave. In the meantime, it is already considering expanding the experimentation for the pink oyster and trying with mussels, which however have another type of cultivation. If everything works out, we could end up with a 2.0 clam farm.
"Of course the cages must be kept clean, but if it worked, the fishermen could have many advantages -Bozzato points out-. In the meantime, one could theoretically have a de-sanded product, which would reduce the time spent in the stall. Secondly, almost fully guaranteed which would allow us to estimate the quantity of product available. In addition, being floating in the event of still waters or with unsuitable salinity levels, fishermen could move the farm by boat".