Certifier : 
Control Union (UK) Limited
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
03 Nov 2009
Certificate expires : 
07 Feb 2022

About

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