Status of windowpane oyster Placuna placenta (Linnaeus) population in Goa
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The ecological status of windowpane oyster Placuna placenta (Linnaeus) has been discussed along with its potential for commercial exploitation in Goa. P. placenta is one of the important constituents of the molluscan resources of the Indian waters. The shells of P. placenta were traditionally used in windows instead of glass in Asian continent and Goa during the 16th century and, more recently, in handicraft industry. The flesh is considered as a delicacy in some parts due to its higher protein content. The size of the shell varies from 18 to 131 mm. Adult P. placenta can survive for about three years. The most striking feature of this species is that it can produce small pearls, which are used mainly in the pharmaceutical industry in preparation of medicines under the Indian system. The percentage of pearl formation in the natural population of P. placenta is higher in Goa (about 35%) compared to other regions in India. There is considerable scope of this important resource particularly for extracting pearls, as food source and shells for ornamental purpose. Further, P. placenta is known as very efficient bioaccumulator, and thus it can be used in coastal environmental monitoring.
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