Aquaculture for all

Seed Production Techniques Could Net Oyster Farms

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INDIA - Developing value additions in mariculture and focusing on the domestic market are likely to counter losses in seafood export due to the global meltdown.

In an attempt to generate new value chains from edible oyster and sand lobsters, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has started a project funded by the National Agriculture Innovative Project (NAIP), writes Sudha Nambudiri of ExpressBuzz. The project, which is a consortium partnership, is between CMFRI and the National Institute for Fisheries Post Harvest Technology and Training (NIFPHATT) Kochi.

Though oysters are the most widely farmed molluscs in the world with a global production of 4.49 million tonnes, farmed oyster production in the country has ranged from 1500 to 2500 tonnes during the past decade and that too from a restricted region in central Kerala.

According to ExpressBuzz, there are about 2000 oyster farmers in Kerala supported by the State Government schemes. Edible oysters considered as ‘health food’ are nutritive.

They are low in fat and a good source of vitamin B-12. They have high quality protein and minerals like iron, zinc and copper. One major problem that has affected oyster farmers is low seed availability leading to low productivity and limited markets, restricted to a 10-100 km radius from the farm site.

Another disadvantage is that oyster farmers can sell the product in fresh condition only.

“The main aim is to enhance mariculture production through refinement of seed production techniques," said V Kripa, principal scientist, CMFRI.

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