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Fisheries > Culture Fisheries > Mussels

General Information

Molluscs are shelled animals that inhabit the intertidal region. Among them, bivalves (two-shelled molluscs) are commercially important for aquaculture. India has very rich resources of molluscs and virtually they are unexploited for aquaculture production. Commercial level production through coastal aquaculture of bivalves such as mussels, oysters and clams has been well established. The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) is a pioneer institute in India carrying out research and extension activities in molluscan aquaculture. The package of practice discussed herein is that which is been recommended by CMFRI.

The global aquaculture production of farmed finfishes and shellfishes had reached an all time high of 39.79 Mt worth $53,798 million in 2004. Of this, marine molluscs contributed 11.2 Mt (28.1%). Asian countries contributed a lion's share of 91% of the total molluscans aquaculture.

Mussel culture

Mussels are bivalve molluscs and are found attached to rocks or other hard objects by their byssus threads. In India two species of marine mussels, namely the green mussel Perna viridis, and the brown mussel, P. indica, contribute to the fishery. At present commercial mussel culture is not practiced in the country.

India at present produces more than 3,000 tonnes of farmed mussels and oysters every year, which is expected to cross 10,000 tonnes in the next two years. As more and more maritime states adopt bivalve farming, India appears to set for a further increase in production. However, according to FAO, the world mussel export in 2004 was estimated to value US$ 905,748 as against US$ 110,566 (12%) from India. China, Spain, Netherlands and Italy are the leading mussel producing countries and together they accounted for 78% of the production by aquaculture in 2004. During 2005-06, India exported mussels worth Rs. 27.56 crores.

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