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Thursday, Mar 10, 2005

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Mussel farming takes roots in more States

V.Sajeev Kumar

Fisherfolk engaged in mussel farming at Chettuva in Thrissur district. - K.K. Mustafah

Kochi , March 9

TAKING a cue from the success of mussel farming in Kerala, neighbouring states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu have also taken up mussels culture after the awareness programme conducted by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

Dr T.S. Velayudhan, Principal Scientist, Molluscan Fisheries Division of CMFRI, said that long line culture of mussels was demonstrated in two areas along the coast of Karnataka where mussel beds and seasonal small-scale fishery occur. The mussel and seed resource of Karnataka is estimated to be 1,746 tonnes in 8,77,695 square metres. Apart from this area, a very good settlement was observed in Bailur, Chittankal and Karwar.

The average length of seed was 29 mm, 20 mm and 25 mm respectively. Consequent to the success of long line demonstration, Mr Velayudhan said estuarine rack culture of mussels was demonstrated in Mulky estuary about 30 km north of Mangalore. This demonstration also paved way for funding from Brackishwater Fish Farmers Development Agency (BFFDA) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard). Training programmes were also organised in various coastal villages of Purnagad,

Tulasunde and Bhati Mirya in Maharashtra on mussel mariculture. About three different mussel farms were erected in Kalbadevi estuary in the State and three mini-units of state culture were installed in other areas, which are being looked after by local fishermen.

Mussel farming under the National Aquaculture Training Programme (NATP) has motivated several villagers and for the first time, women in the State have formed self-help group for this purpose. About 10 demonstration farms were also set up with farmers' participation. In Ratnagiri district, rich mussel beds were seen in the creeks at Dabhoi, Jaigad, Kalbadevi and Purnagad and in the rocky seashore at Budhal and Tulasunde.

Mussel farming activities have been taken up at Cuddalore, Parangipettai in Tamil Nadu and in some parts in Pondicherry.

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