Tagelus adansonii, a Bivalve with Unknown Potential in the Mangrove Ecosystems of Senegal
Shell molluscs are an important resource for island and coastal populations around the world. In Senegal, these resources constitute a significant contribution to the economy, food and cultural practices of the populations. The species commonly exploited are few in number, only about ten, whereas Senegal has a great diversity of shell molluscs that are still little known and exploited, including Tagelus adansonii. This is a bivalve of the solecurtidae family, the only species of the genus found on the West African coast. The study showed that this species is not widely exploited and not well known, especially among young farmers. The exploitation for self-consumption was practised in the past, but currently this species is more of an accessory catch. Its nutritional and taste qualities have also been demonstrated. The species is available and has been found in all four sites sampled, but is most abundant in Joal-Fadiouth and the Saloum estuary. The areas where densities are zero correspond to the hyper-salted environment, or exposed to silting and erosion. Moreover, its size is greater in the Senegal River Delta where the salinity is lower. Thus the physico-chemical parameters of the environment affect the distribution, growth and even survival of this species.
The majority of the people interviewed have a low level of education, and their awareness of the potential of T. adansonii will certainly open up prospects for diversifying the range of resources exploited and thus their economic contribution.