On the 21st June, the A.V. Zhirmunsky National Scientific Center of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (NSCMB FEB RAS) held an online conference with Chinese representatives from the city of Dalian: Marine Strategic Planning and Economy Institute (Northeast China Belt and Road Strategy Development Institute) Dalian Ocean University.

The Russian side on the conference was represented by Director of the NSCMB FEB RAS Igor Yuryevich Dolmatov, Corr. Member of RAS, the Head of the Center for Aquaculture and Coastal Bioresources of the NSCMB FEB RAS Sergei Ivanovich Maslennikov, Cand. Sci. Biol., and the Communication Specialist of the International Cooperation Department Viktoriya Tsoy.

The main participants from the Chinese side were the Deputy Director of Marine Strategic Planning and Economy Institute of the Dalian Ocean University Prof. Liu Guangdong, the Deputy Dean of the Institute of Aquatic and Biological Sciences of the Dalian Ocean University Prof. Huo Zhongming and his team members, and the President of the Company “RuArts” (Shanghai) Zhang Chunmei.

The webinar started with the warm greetings of both sides. In the first part of the online conference, the participants discussed the development of aquaculture in China and Russia, the current state of joint scientific researches, and the organization of aquaculture information exchange between national research institutions and fishing enterprises, then the participants moved on to the main topic of discussion.

Panopea japonica (the common name “geoduck clam”) is a species of bivalve borrowing mollusks that almost disappeared in the northern sea waters of China, but widely occurs in the Sea of Japan from East Korea Bay to the Peter the Great Bay (Russia). In the north of the Sea of Japan, mollusks are found in the Tatar Strait and on the western coast of Sakhalin, in the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk (in the Aniva Bay, along the coast of Hokkaido and in the South Kuril shallow water).

By the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation, geoduck is included in the list of species of aquatic biological resources authorized for industrial fisheries in the internal waters of the Russian Federation.

These clams are extremely in demand in Asian markets. In China, cultivation of Panopea japonica demands significant efforts: there is a lack of larvae, necessary for cultivation, this has so far limited the scale of geoduck clam cultivation. Thus, there is an urgent need to breed larvae to restore the Panopea japonica populations in China. Russia has vast areas suitable for growing Panopea japonica, specialists have accumulated a lot of data on the ecological situation in the areas that are promising for mariculture. Development of the methods for artificial breeding and cultivation of the species is in future possible in cooperation with Japan, and with North and South Korea, in order to strengthen thereby scientific and technical cooperation between the countries of Northeast Asia.

Panopea japonica

 The Japanese geoduck (Panopea japonica) caught in the subtidal zone of Khasan seashore area (Lutaenko K.A., Volvenko I.E. Shallow-water Bivalve Mollusks of Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan). 2023).

In April 2023, the NSCMB FEB RAS and Dalian Ocean University signed the Memorandum of Understanding for 5 years with the next further prolongation. During of this online conference, on the 21st of June, within the framework of this Memorandum, the two sides discussed a new project, which from the Russian side will be headed by Sergei I. Maslennikov, the Head of the Center for Aquaculture and Coastal Bioresources of the NSCMB FEB RAS. Presently, there exists a fairly strong gap between China and many developed countries in terms of technical equipment and the equipment for aquaculture. The objective of this project is to conduct a study of the geoduck Panopea japonica, in order to restore the resources of this clam in the northern seawaters of China and to contribute to the development of specialized fisheries of Panopea japonica in the Russian waters.

In the final part of the online conference, the Chinese side invited Russian colleagues from the NSCMB FEB RAS to take part in the international conference on the maritime economic development of Northeast Asia, which will be held in mid-November 2023 in Dalian (People's Republic of China).