Can a Maxima or Derisa Clam Be Eaten?

Reef Frog

New member
This might win "The Most Stupid Question of 2013 Award" if there was such a thing.

Last night my young nephew accompanied me to the LFS as I needed some live brine shrimp. We were looking at the tanks and i showed him the different Maxima & Derisa clams. The little seafood lover was fascinated and then asked me "Can People Eat Them?"

I told him not at $150 a pop....but I was wondering if they CAN be eaten. And do or have the native people of the Pacific islands use/used them for food? He will ask again and I'd like to let him know.

On another note, one of the clams had a tear in the mantle. I could peek into the interior but did not see much "meat". It was maybe an inch long on a six to eight inch clam. What would cause this? Will it heal or is that fatal? The clam looked fine otherwise and reacted to a shadow.

Thanks for reading this odd ball post.


Grizzled & Cynical
Absolutely they can and are eaten by people in the South Pacific. In fact, consumption pressure is far more likely to have been the cause of wild stock reductions than the aquarium hobby. When I was in Palau many years ago, the local dive operators would not tell us where the large Gigas clams were for fear the local fishermen would find out and haul them out for food.


New member
Yeah I have a friend in Veitnam that has eaten them Years ago she was here and saw one with me at the fish store and told me they were good lol


Premium Member
I have tried them before. I can say that they are not bad at all. But his was on a farm where all they did was grow them to food. Well for the most part. They would pull out the really colorful ones the the aquarium trade but the brown or not so bright ones went to the market for food. I know a few islands are now starting to farm them other then taking them out of the wild for eating.


There are numerous clam "farms" in the Pacific. Their primary buyers are for sushi in Japan. The more colorful clams (not "gold") wind up for sale in our local LFS and on the web pages of our on-line suppliers...