Common name: Freshwater gold clam
Alternative names: Golden clam, Freshwater invasive clam, Asian gold clam
Botanical name: Corbicula fluminea
Management programme: This clam is classified as an Unwanted Organism under the Biosecurity Act. It was discovered in New Zealand for the first time in May 2023 when it was found in the Waikato River. The incursion response is being led by Biosecurity New Zealand (a business unit of the Ministry of Primary Industries).
Gold clam is not a listed species within the Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) 2020–2030. Under rule 7 of the Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) 2020–2030 provision is made for stopping the spread of freshwater pests by requiring all boat ramp users to certify that their vessel, craft, and trailer are free from freshwater pest fish and pest plants.
The Biosecurity New Zealand website has details of the new Check Clean Dry requirements developed for this clam, as well as other invasives, which must be used in the North Island.
A key difference is a requirement to soak absorbent gear like lifejackets in hot tapwater – 55degC – for at least 5 minutes to kill sticky juvenile clams, which can be too small to see.
The freshwater gold clam is native to eastern Asia and is widely established in North and South America and Europe.
You can read more information about gold clam on the Biosecurity New Zealand website
To report suspected gold clam please call Biosecurity New Zealand on 0800 800 99 66 or complete the online reporting form at report.mpi.govt.nz