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Ancient clam gardens nurture food security
Date:3/20/2014

9 to 2011 they focused their efforts on Quadra Island due to the sheer number of clam gardens available to survey and use as experimental replicates. They surveyed 11 ancient clam gardens and 10 un-walled clam beaches and compared their number, size and weight of clams. They collaborated with indigenous knowledge holders from the Tla'amin First Nation and Laich-kwil-tach Treaty Society.

This study was the basis of Groesbeck's master's research, which was conducted under the supervision of the study's other authors. Groesbeck, a 2013 Faculty of Environment graduate and this study's lead author, is now a University of Washington research assistant.

"Our discovery provides practical insights into sustainable ancient marine management techniques that can inform local food security strategies today," says Groesbeck.

This study notes that some of today's benthic shellfish aquaculture practices have been shown to undermine near shore ecosystem resilience. They "alter the community composition of near shore systems, change sediment characteristics, and facilitate the introduction of invasive species," says the study.

Lepofsky says, "On the Northwest Coast we are fortunate to have both the tangible record of clam gardens and the culture-based knowledge of local indigenous people to educate us. The lessons learned here have global implications for food security and about the way indigenous people interact with their land and seascapes."


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Contact: Carol Thorbes
cthorbes@sfu.ca
778-782-3035
Simon Fraser University
Source:Eurekalert  

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