Interview with Assoc. Prof. phD. Elitsa Petrova. FOCUS Information Agency, August 28, 2020

According to unofficial data, the price of white clams on the foreign market is between 8 and 12 euros per kilogram, which makes it especially preferred for exploitation. This was stated in an interview with FOCUS Radio - Varna by Assoc. Prof. Elitsa Petrova, Director of the Institute of Fish Resources in Varna. Assoc. Prof. Petrova explained that the group of white clams includes several species - Donax, Chamelea and Mya, and currently the Donax species is mainly caught.

"The Donax species inhabits mainly the coastal zone, that is why it is extremely easy to harvest. These species have a very high export value. Black mussels are farmed as marine aquaculture and have lower exports, while the exploitation of white clams is from their natural populations and are exported to some Mediterranean countries"said Assoc. Prof. Elitsa Petrova.

She noted that both species, white and black, are very important in terms of the ecology of the Black Sea.

"Black mussels form large clusters and are a natural filter of the sea, while white clams inhabit specific habitats that are rich of other organisms. The problem with their exploitation is that the use of dredging devices destroys many of the benthic species living in the same habitat. That is why it is necessary to regulate the exploitation of white clams in order to protect the habitats of other marine species, "said the expert.

Assoc. Prof. Elitsa Petrova added that both types of mussels - black and white, are edible.
"Natural deep-sea populations of black mussels, which are 20 to 65 meters deep, inhabit muddy sediment and have deteriorating taste.
In Bulgaria there is a well-developed Marie culture for black mussels and the quantities for export come from the farms.

In the case of white clams, however, we do not have a developed aquaculture and the quantities for export are from the natural habitats of the species. Their export value is very high due to the fact that in the Mediterranean they are a great delicacy and there are traditions in their consumption. In order to avoid depletion of resources and preservation of the ecology of the basin, measures must be taken to manage the exploitation of these species.

In Turkey, for example, there is a long period during the year when white clams are banned. However, we should not forget that Turkey has many target species, while in our country they are limited, "said Assoc. Prof. Petrova.

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