Grown-out of seeds of the taquilla clam Mulinia edulis (King & Broderip, 1832) in the subtidal zone in northern Chile and in the intertidal zone in southern Chile
Seeds of the clam Mulinia edulis produced in a hatchery were grown in bottom cages in the subtidal zone of Tongoy Bay (northern Chile) and in the intertidal zone of Chullec (Chiloé Island, southern Chile), to compare the growth and survival of small and large seeds of the same production in different environments and latitudes. Seeds were shipped twice to Chullec, once in summer and once in winter. Previous experiments with seed transportation (14.2 ± 2.4 mm) showed that they are able to survive more than 24 h out of water. The growth rate of both large and small seeds was greater in Tongoy than in Chullec, reaching maxima of 1.24 mm month-1 in the small seeds of Tongoy and 1.06 mm month-1 in the same group in Chullec. The growth rates obtained for M. edulis were similar to those described for other cultured clams. Seeds grown in Chullec presented a significantly greater weight by size than the seeds grown in Tongoy. Survival after 12 months was 38% and 88% in Tongoy and 19.4% and 37.3% in Chullec for small and large seeds, respectively. Seeds produced in hatcheries are able to withstand long travel (1,360 km) and grow in the intertidal zone of southern Chile, where the operation of the culture is simple and cheap. The growth curve presents an inflection point around 20 mm length, probably related to the age at sexual maturity. Growing out seeds in the intertidal zone in southern Chile is seen as a new activity for artisanal fishermen.