Mass mortality event of the blood cockle, Anadara granosa, in aquaculture ground along Selangor coast, Peninsular Malaysia


1 Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8686, Japan

2 Penang Office of Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, 11960 Batu Maung, Penang, Malaysia

3 National Research Institute of Fisheries Engineering, Fisheries Research Agency, Kamisu, Ibaraki 314-0408, Japan

4 Fisheries Research Institute, Department of Fisheries, 11960 Batu Maung, Penang, Malaysia


A mass mortality event of blood cockles, Anadara granosa, occurred in aquaculture ground in Selangor in mid-February 2012. To identify factors contributing to this event, we estimated the changes in survival rate and population density of the blood cockles using data from field surveys carried out in late-January and mid-March, 2012. In addition, blood cockle samples were used for histological observation of various tissues with a light microscope. Furthermore, we examined the environmental factors that seemed to be involved in this mass mortality event using environmental data obtained in two surveys and weather data for the Selangor region from late-January to mid-March 2012. As a result of the field surveys and the histological observation, the mortality was estimated to be 30 % over, and the blood cockles were shown to be in the spawning season at this time of year. In addition, numerous individuals collected in mid-March had no food in the digestive duct, which suggested low food availability. Precipitation data for the Selangor region showed rainfall of 30 mm/day over four days in mid-February, which suggested an impact of freshwater flooding from rivers on the aquaculture ground. Normally, the blood cockles are tolerant to low-salinity environments. However, the fact that the flooding and associated environmental changes occurred, when the population was debilitated by reproductive activity, may have led to the mass mortality event in association with low food availability.