Thetis Acquacoltura

Innovating Venetian aquaculture

Following the path. . .

The first attempts to introduce Manila clam in Italy date from 1983, when a small amount of seed (approx. 0.5 kg of 3 mm size) purchased in an English hatchery was sown in the southern basin of the Venice lagoon by Dr Paolo Breber, a dear friend of Thetis team.

At the time, nobody could have predicted that this ‘bucketload’ of spat would serve as the start of something so grand. The species demonstrated excellent acclimatisation skills and quickly made this region their home, commercially substituting the native carpet shell.

Manila clams rapidly became an important economic resource for Italy and continue being so to this day. Today Manila clam is the first species for Italian aquaculture in value and in 2011 accounted for 222 million euro, with 80% of European market originating from the venetian lagoon.

. . . and Innovating

Despite their widely accepted importance, Manila clams are facing numerous threats nowadays, which are putting the future of this ecosystem at jeopardy. Indiscriminate exploitation of natural beds, illegal gathering and use of high-impacting harvest gears are just some of the attributes of the overall adopted logic of unsustainable exploitation that we are focused on changing.

Through our work, we wish to demonstrate to the community that production can operate in balance with nature rather than at its expense.

Our methods ensure that local sediment and waters remain unharmed, while we also closely monitor all environmental changes in the region and are quick to alert the appropriate authorities if we come across any evidence of wrongdoing. Our goal is to preserve this unique environment and demonstrate by example, so that local aquatic life can keep thriving for decades to come.