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New Taipei City and National Taiwan Ocean University Successfully Recover Native Species of Strawberry Conchs at Northeast Coast

 
  • Date:2021-08-21
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New Taipei City government and National Taiwan Ocean University (hereinafter referred to as NTOU) have cooperated since 2015 to create the “Dual Flower Team” to recover and reproduce squid, flower crabs and dog conchs. Additionally, they have developed an artificial propagation and breeding technique for the native species of strawberry conchs at the Northeast Coast in Taiwan. At present, it is not easy to find strawberry conchs in the waters of the Northeast Coast. Fishermen at the Northeast Coast are greatly appreciated for endeavoring to search for this kind of conchs at the coast so that the research team can obtain precious strawberry conchs for breeding. Thanks to the persevering research of the Dual Flower Team, there is finally a breakthrough in the technique of propagation and breeding. The strawberry conchs will later be released into the waters of the Northeast Coast to gradually enrich marine resources.

The strawberry conch is nicknamed “bird conch (Taiwanese),” and it belongs to the species of Strombidae. The shell length of an adult conch is approximately five centimeters. Looking alike toxic cone snails, strawberry conchs have bright shells, and they are edible, economically important species. Strawberry conchs chiefly live in the sublittoral zone and intertidal zone and on shallow water coral reefs south of Japan and north of Indonesia. These conchs are also discovered in the waters of New Taipei City. They feed on algae and organic debris. They have keen vision. When they are about to eat, their eyes stick out from the opening below their exterior shells. It looks like they are peeping, which is amusing. They jump when they move at the bottom of the sea, so they are called “bird conchs.”

Te-Hua Hsu, assistant professor of Department of Aquaculture, NTOU, has collected the native species of strawberry conchs in the intertidal zone at the Northeast Coast with the help of Gongliao Fisherman’s Association and local fishermen since 2019. As there were no documents on the successful propagation of these conchs home and abroad, the team kept studying for two years and finally commanded requirements for strawberry conchs to lay eggs and for conch larvae to grow. They have completed the experiment of a small batch for the first time. The research team has found that the pelagic larval duration of the conch larvae is comparatively longer than other conchs. It takes over twenty days. Additionally, the conchs demand better water quality and bait. Therefore, the team has to change and use multiple microalgae and pay attention to water quality to successfully recover strawberry conch larvae. In the future, they will continue to carry out follow-up breeding and mass production experiments in the hope that strawberry conchs can be released to conservation sea areas to enrich marine resources.

Fisheries and Fishing Port Affairs Management Office, New Taipei City Government (hereinafter referred to as the Office), indicated that the waters belonging to New Taipei City at the Northeast Coast are at the confluence of the Kuroshio Current (also known as the Black Current) and China Coastal Current, so the sea area possesses a wide variety of original species, and strawberry conchs introduced in this report are one of them. New Taipei City government and the Dual Flower Team are very happy to be able to make a breakthrough in the propagation and breeding technique for strawberry conchs. In the future, if they can mass produce the conchs with this technique, it will enhance the diversity of released species. Sustainable marine resources are the foundation for the marine industry to keep developing. The Office will continue to promote policies related to conservation and recovery to make marine resources sustainable.

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The breakthrough of the propagation and breeding technique has been achieved. (open in a new window)The breakthrough of the propagation and breeding technique has been achieved.jpg
The growing process of the embryo (open in a new window)The growing process of the embryojpg
The conch has a bright shell which is often made into a work of art. (open in a new window)The conch has a bright shell which is often made into a work of art.jpg
Update:2021-08-26