a1 Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Fisheries Experiment Station, Conway
The rate of water filtration by bivalves has long excited interest, but it has in practice proved difficult to measure in conditions where the animal is relatively free from constraint. Its estimation is important from a number of aspects: feeding studies; as an indicator of the animal's reaction to its environment; and for predicting the flow of water required for the culture of economically important species. The work reported in this paper started as part of the general programme on shellfish culture in progress at this laboratory. During the development of a suitable method for studying the water requirements it became clear that one factor, water current, had a more important influence than has been generally recognized.