Cowrie shell propagation and aquaculture as a sustainable resource for developing nations?

James C. Frank JCFRANK at
Thu Mar 2 22:47:30 EST 2000

For a Marine Environmental Policy course, tought by Dr. John Mark Dean of the U
niversity of Soiuth Carolina, I am to write a briefing paper on an environmenta
l problem and a proposed solution, both of which having significant offerings a
nd effects to socioeconomic conditions in the US and/or world and local markets
.  My main interest at present being the aquarium industry, I wanted to do a pr
oject involving the effects of the industry on environmental and economic situa
tions in developing nations that exploit their natural resources for minimal mo
netary income.

Dr. Dean and I noticed an interesting aspect of such situations in developing n
ations involving the shell trade, specifically in the collection of cowrie shel
ls for decorative products and jewlery.  After some preliminary research, I cam
e up with a couple of resources on the topic of depletion of cowrie stocks in c
ountries such as Tanzania, but nothing in particular regarding the propagation
and aquaculture of the animals.  I would like to ask the members of this list i
f they may know of anyone who is interested (in any respect) in this idea-namel
y, the implimentation of a project to aquaculture cowries as a sustainable reso
urce, or anyone who has done research on cowrie reproduction.  Any resources or
 comments on the topic would be greatly appreciated.  I can be reached by email
at jcfrank at

Again, thank you in advance for any help that can be offered.

  -James C. Frank, Marine Science Program, The University of South Carolina

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