Certifier : 
Control Union (UK) Limited
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
03 Nov 2009
Certificate expires : 
22 May 2029


Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-0200 Lyrate hard clam (Meretrix lyrata) Miscellaneous Gear: Hand gathering, usually following re-laying of spat (‘seed’) in previous years 71 (Pacific, Western Central) MSC-F-31260 (MEC-F-023)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Lyrate hard clam (Meretrix lyrata) 2022 8,636

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

About this Fishery

When this fishery was certified as sustainable in November 2009 it became the first fishery in Southeast Asia to reach the standard. It is located in Vietnam’s Ben Tre province, covering a 65km area of the coast and containing more than 4,800 hectares of protected mangroves.

The lyrate hard clams grow to around 50mm in tidal zones. They are reported in many parts of Southeast Asia; and are widespread in the Mekong Delta, with the highest density and production in Ben Tre province. Commercial harvesting takes place all year round, but the majority takes place from April to October.

The fishery is operated by 11 local cooperatives that provide close management and surveillance of the broodstock and harvestable clams within their area. The clams are harvested by hand at low tide using metal rakes, and collected in mesh sacks. A net to allow the return of small clams is used: the width of the rake and the size of the net mesh are closely regulated. When collected, bags of clams are taken to a boat moored on the sand where they are checked, counted and weighed. The use of machines for harvesting clams is completely banned.

“As the first MSC-certified fishery in Southeast Asia, the Ben Tre clam fishery will play a key role in demonstrating how certification can conserve resources, preserve local communities, and positively impact the bottom line for business – all at the same time.”

- Meredith Lopuch, WWF-US 

Read the Ben Tre clam story >

Ben Tre clam collection image © Thuy Nguyendieu / WWF Vietnam

Market Information

The main markets are still local and domestic, but clam products are increasingly being exported to international markets such as the EU, Japan, China, Taiwan and US.