Taxonomic Study of Edible Bivalve from Selected Division of Sarawak, Malaysia
M.K. Abu Hena
The diversity of edible bivalve was conducted from August 2010 to July 2011 covering eight divisions i.e., Kuching, Sarikei, Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri, Limbang and Lawas of Sarawak, Malaysia. Samples were collected from native market and fishing village during the study period. All edible bivalves inhabit either in brackish or marine environment and comprised 19 species from 10 families namely Meretrix meretrix, M. lyrata, Paphia undulata, Circe scripta, Solen regularies, Solen lamarckii, Pharella acutidens, Amusium pleuronectes, Anadara granosa, Pholas orientalis, Gluconome virens, Placuna placenta, Crassotrea lugubris, Isognomon ephippium, Polymesoda erosa, P. bengalensis, P. expansa, Anadonta woodina and Pilsbryoconcha exilis. The diversity of edible bivalves was found highest in Kuching and Bintulu compared to other divisions studied in Sarawak. The bivalve species at Sarawak could have economic potentiality in terms of protein source, livelihoods of local tribes and economic value. Study suggests that if the high conservation and management of edible bivalve diversity could establish in the coastal and wetland area of Sarawak, a remarkable and vast economic return could achieve.
Received: August 04, 2011;
Accepted: November 14, 2011;
Published: January 13, 2012
The state of Sarawak, Malaysia comprise of vast amount of wetlands which include
brackish water area, coastal marine and mangrove area, seagrass bed, salt and
fresh water marsh land, freshwater pond, lake and peat swamp forests. This state
contains 1.24 million ha of wetland which covers 13% of the states total
land area (Page, 2011). This wetland supports itself
as the habitat for huge number of floral and faunal biodiversity. Among the
faunal composition available in the wetland of Sarawak, the diversity of edible
bivalves is one of the most important items. Generally, in Sarawak, a large
number of bivalve species which derived from wetland are consumed by the local
people. These bivalves provide an essential part of protein in the diet of local
communities and some species add an important role in fishery economy of the
The contribution of edible bivalves in the local economy in the entire region
of Sarawak is high, notwithstanding, this wetland resource is yet to be documented
well. However, a number of published documents relating to the bivalves of Malaysia
are to our knowledge (Idris et al., 2011; Abdullah
et al., 2007; Nakao et al., 1989;
Sallih, 2005; Abu Hena et al.,
2004) so far. In fact, it is rather tricky to present an accurate figure
of edible bivalve species in Sarawak since local people may consume most of
the species of bivalves they locate.
|| Location of the study area showing the sampling areas in
Despite their importance, there is few distribution record of edible bivalve
in this tropical region in Thailand (Nateewathana, 1995)
and little is known of the edible bivalve in Sarawak, Malaysia. To assist fill
this gap in our information, the present paper look into the diversity, morphological
characteristic, habitat and aquaculture potentiality of edible bivalve in the
selected Division of Sarawak, Malaysia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Samples were collected from native market and fishing village from August 2010
to July 2011. Study area was located at eight Divisions i.e., Kuching, Sarikei,
Mukah, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, Limbang and Lawas of Sarawak, Malaysia (Fig.
1). Most of the collected bivalve was bought within Ringgit Malaysia (RM)
2 to RM 20 kg-1. The collected samples were preserved under freeze
point and were brought to laboratory for species identification. Species identification
was done based on Poutiers (1998), Mass
et al. (1999) and Chiu et al. (2002).
Shell length (L), shell width (W) and shell height (H) was determined using
digital vernier caliper at ±0.01 mm. Each sample was photographed by
digital camera and redraw to reveal any dim characters on the shell. The specimens
are deposited in the Laboratory of Aquatic Biology, Department of Animal Science
and Fishery, Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu Sarawak Compus, Malaysia.
A total of 19 species from 10 families were recorded from eight Divisions of
Sarawak (Table 1 and Fig. 2). Most of the
edible bivalves were from the wetland land, freshwater, brackish and marine
area (Table 2).
|| Checklist and distribution of edible bivalve species from
eight different Divisions in Sarawak, Malaysia
|(+) = Present, (-) = Absent
|| Habitat and morphological characteristics of edible bivalve
recorded from the selected Division of Sarawak, Malaysia
||Edible bivalve species recorded from Sarawak: (A) Polymesoda
expansa, (B) Polymesoda erosa, (C) Polymesoda bengalensis,
(D) Meretrix meretrix, (E) Meretrix lyrata, (F) Paphia
undulata, (G) Circe scripta, (H) Solen regularies, (I)
Solen lamarckii, (J) Pharella acutidens, (K) Amusium pleuronectes,
(L) Anadara granosa, (M) Pholas orientalis, (N) Gluconome
virens, (O) Placuna placenta, (P) Crassostrea lugubris,
(Q) Isognomon ephippium, (R) Anodonta woodiana and (S) Pilsbryoconcha
Collected species comprise of Veneridae, Solenidae, Pectinidae, Arcidae, Myoida,
Gluconomidae, Placunidae, Ostreidae, Isognomonidae, Corbiculidae and Unionidae
family. Among the collected edible bivalve twelve species namely Meretrix
meretrix, M. lyrata, Paphia undulata, Circe scripta,
Solen regularies, S. lamarckii, Amusium pleuronectes, Anadara
granosa, Pholas orientalis, Gluconome virens, Placuna placenta,
Crassotrea lugubris and Isognomon ephippium were from marine,
four species namely Polymesoda erosa, P. expansa, P. bengalensis
and Pharella acutidens were from brackish water and two species namely
Anodonta woodiana and Pilsbryoconcha exilis were from freshwater
The diversity of edible bivalve was found highest in Bintulu and Kuching compared to other Divisions studied while lowest was from Sarikei, Sarawak. The genus from Corbiculidae family was recorded from all Divisions (Table 1) which were Polymesoda erosa (Lawas, Limbang, Miri, Bintulu and Sibu), P. bengalensis (Limbang, Miri, Bintulu, Sibu, Sarikei and Kuching) and P. expansa (Lawas, Limbang, Miri and Bintulu).
Edible bivalve play an important economic role in Sarawak. However, the aquaculture
production of bivalve is less in this region. Mangroves clam Polymesoda spp.,
Meretrix sp. and Anadara sp. were the most important taxa of edible
bivalve. Nineteen species of edible bivalve was recorded in the present study
which distributed miscellaneously in the entire Division of Sarawak. Of these,
2 species were from freshwater, 4 species were from brackish water and 13 species
were from marine water. The species i.e., Meretrix meretrix, M. lyrata,
Paphia undulata and Circe scripta from Veneridae family (mainly
from marine) was dominant in present study. Han et al.
(2003) recorded at least 20 species from Veneridae family which is the largest
in Leizhou Peninsula, China. In Thailand, Veneridae family encompasses 13 species
which are mostly from coastal and marine habitats (Nateewathana,
The genus (Polymesoda spp.) from Corbiculidae family was found widely
distribution in the maximum Divisions of Sarawak. This could probably due to
the existence of wide mangroves and muddy area in this region that supports
the suitable habitats for this type of bivalve. Generally, Sarawak covers about
173792.00 ha of mangrove forest excluding other muddy area. Tan
and Kastoro (2004) reported that Barbatia foliata and Atactodea
striata the most widespread bivalve species at Anambas and Natuna Island,
Indonesia. However, edible bivalve species Perna viridis that is highly
distributed along the coast of Malacca Straits, east coast of peninsular Malaysia
and Sabah (Ong et al., 2009) but not recorded
in this present study. Probably the habitats and water quality of Sarawak do
not support the existence and production of this species in natural condition.
Laxmilatha et al. (2007) reported that Malabar
region produce 65% of Perna viridis in total bivalve production while
fishing of bivalve usually depends on season and fluctuates through out the
year (Kripa and Appukuttan, 2003). In Malaysia, major
production of edible brackish water bivalves is 54% followed by shrimp, 17.3%
and marine fish 6.3% (FAO, 2011). Since bivalve culture
categorized as aquaculture sector, it is become priority sector according to
the Third National Agriculture Policy (DPN3).
Mangrove clams, bloody clam and other types of bivalve comprise a cheap protein source for the people of Sarawak. Therefore, they are the vital edible mollusc food, in addition to fresh and marine items. This study revealed that apart for those commercially valuable bivalves, the rest of species are mostly utilized for local consumption and not extensively disseminated in the big commercial markets.
The authors would like to thanks the deanery and staffs from Department of Animal Science and Fishery, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu Sarawak Campus for technical, logistic supports and laboratory facilities provided. First author would also like to thank the Ministry of Higher Education, for the research grant (5523703 FRGS) which make this study possible.
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