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Fisheries > Culture Fisheries > Lobsters

Fattening in cages

Site selection

The site should be easily approachable, less prone to natural calamities and pollution and should be comparatively calm. The intensity of fishing activities should be less. The seabed should be suitable for anchoring the cages. The availability of juvenile lobsters and natural feeds such as clams, trash fishes and crabs renders the site more suitable.

Cage Design

The cage has a main frame made of 2 1/2 inch diameter GI Pipe with steel woven mesh (2 x 2 x 1.2m) and accommodated four inner cages (0.75 x 0.75 x 1.1m) with two layers of nylon mesh with sizes 15mm x 15mm (inner) and 5mm x 5mm (outer). A lifting arrangement with pulleys was provided for handing these inner cages at site. The metallic body was painted with nontoxic, food grade eco - friendly, polymer based paint with antifouling property. The second stage of cage development the inner cage volume was increased to 1 m3.

Stocking

Juveniles collected as by-catch can be stocked at a density of 25-30/m2. Initial body weight and carapace length of the individual lobsters should be recorded to assess the growth performance and feed requirement.

cage

Lobster cage

stocking

Stocking in cage

Feeding

The spiny lobster is a selective feeder, preferring shellfish to scale fish. Mussels, clams, squids, trash fish etc. could be used as fattening diets. These food items can be fed to the animals either singly or in combination as mixed diets. Approximately 50-60 nos. of clams/mussels (depending on the size) amounting to about 3% of live body weight of lobsters (3 gm of feed for a 100 g sized lobster) should be fed per day per each cage.The lobsters may not be able to break the shells if the bivalves are bigger. Bigger sized clams/mussels are collected to feed small sized animals- crush the feed with a stone and feed. This would make the feed readily available to the lobsters and also conserve energy as the lobsters need not break open the shells of the bivalves.

Live feed

Green mussel (Perna viridis) spats can be seeded on ropes and bags suspended in the waters near the cage site. The plankton present in the water serves as the feed for these filter feeders. The mussels get attached to the rope by the help of byssal threads. About 90% survival can be obtained by this culture technique and the biomass increases rapidly as the mussels grow faster. This back up not only provides ample supply of food for the lobsters but also will help the beneficiaries to avoid depending on the seasonal availability of the feed for the lobsters.

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