Warning: The following video shows how to forcibly open a living Tridacnid clam in order to consume its flesh. If you are a clam lover, then you might want to look away now.
In the aquarium world, it would be downright sacreligious to intentionally kill an animal, especially a huge Tridacnid clam that probably took a decade or two to grow to its monstrous size. But not all parts of the world would agree to this train of thought. In fact, Tridacnid clams have far more value in the seafood industry than they’ve ever had in the aquarium industry. That’s why wild clam populations have been devastated throughout the years, and that’s why there are so many farms that grow them these days. Sure, the aquarium industry “consumes” hundreds of thousands, if not millions of clams annually, but that’s barely a dent in the overall global numbers.
We’ve often heard stories of Vietnamese fisherman casually walking exposed reefs at low tide and casually scooping up maxima clams to snack on while they hunted for other sea life. We’re not entirely sure if this is just a generalized folklore sort of thing, but it is completely believable considering the role that the Tridcnids have played in the commercial fishing industry. Still, it is hard for us to think about the gorgeous clams in that fashion. It’s hard to wrap our minds around clams being a tasty and nutritional snack instead of prized members of our reef aquariums.
And that’s what makes watching the video above so difficult. The individual has a rather large clam, likely a T. derasa, and simply smashes it open with a hammer before running his blade along the inside of the shell to remove the flesh. From there, the tissue is washed in the water and likely taken away to be prepared for a future meal. Again, a devastating video to watch, even more so if you view it from an aquarist’s perspective.