Journal of Fisheries Research

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Research Article - Journal of Fisheries Research (2023) Volume 7, Issue 1

History, present, and future of the shellfish fishery in Panama: an update

Mollusks represent an essential food resource for communities settled in the coastal zone, especially in the Pacific of Panama due to the high density of inhabitants. From pre-Columbian times to the present, its importance has not diminished, especially the species that have commercial value that has served as a livelihood for coastal dwellers at the national level, as well as internationally for export, contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP) from the country. Five families stand out both in the Pacific and in the Caribbean of Panama. Of those captured in the Pacific, the Pinctada mazatlanica pearl oyster has been marketed since pre- Columbian times for the high value of the pearls it produces. Currently, this resource has been decimated to the point that the species no longer produces pearls. Another species of economic importance is Argopecten ventricosus, which during the 1980s generated economic income for the country of approximately 10 million dollars until the population was reduced to the point that it is no longer of commercial interest. In the Panamanian Caribbean, mollusks have been preferred as a food source and some species, such as the Strombus, are sold as ornaments due to their showiness. The effect of the problem of contamination in the coastal zone on the filtering mollusks that incorporate these contaminants and affect human health when consumed is alert; this explains why some of these are used as biological indicators.

Author(s): Juan A Gomez H, Janzel R Villalaz G and Italo Goti*

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