The exploited marine fish production in the country has reached a plateau and any further increase from the presently exploited geographical areas will not be sustainable. At this juncture, the major alternative is mariculture, which can augment the income from coastal as well as open sea farming. The main aim of the proposed project is to embark on the mission to develop mariculture for enhanced seafood production and as a sustainable source of livelihood.
|Edible oysters with high content of omega -3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12 are considered as a health food. The farming technology for the Indian species, Crassostrea madrasensis has been developed by CMFRI and this mariculture activity has been able to support the livelihood of more than 2000 villagers in Kerala. Currently the farmers source the seed from natural beds hence there is considerable variation in productivity.|
The technology for seed production of oysters developed by the CMFRI can be refined and effectively used for solving this problem. This technology can be transferred to the state which has been activity supporting development of oyster farming. Under the NAIP it is proposed to involve the BFFDA, Kerala for development of seed production units of oysters. To make this industry sustainable it is essential to study conduct detailed investigations on the health aspects of farmed oysters and develop models for estimation of carrying capacity of oyster farming areas.
Farmed oyster meat is currently sold in the local markets in the fresh condition. One important missing link is the lack of depuration (purification) of oyster prior to marketing. There are several traditional preparations using oyster meat in the country and technological intervention is required for promoting ready-to-serve or ready-to-cook oyster products. Post harvest processing in utmost hygienic condition following HACCP standards, value addition and by product development of the candidate species mentioned above will be taken up in the project through linkage with National Institute for Fisheries Post Harvest Technology and Training (NIFPHATT).
Sand lobsters are highly valuable shellfishes and the technique for breeding of the sand lobster Thenus orientalis has been successfully developed in CMFRI. However, this technique has to be up-scaled, farming techniques developed and disseminated to the end-users. This high value resource has been overexploited which has led to reduction in export from 400 t to 131 t during the recent years. The commercial level seed production and farming technology ill be developed for sand lobster farming and the same will be transferred. Techniques have to be developed for production of value added products. At present wild caught sand lobsters are marketed in the live condition and as frozen products in pouches and polypacks. There is ample scope to develop value added products from sand lobster.
In this era of ICT and media dominance, marketing of the high value, nutritionally rich farmed and processed products of oysters and sand lobsters will be promoted. With planned market intelligence surveys and capacity building of entrepreneurs this value chain of mariculture of selected shellfish will be complete. Commercial level seed production and farming of edible oyster and sand lobster and value added products from these resources are envisaged as major outcome of the project. The environmental, social and IPR issues emerging during the project implementation will be addressed. To support development of mariculture without any social conflicts for water and resource usage, the legal issues related to this will be identified and frame work / policy paper suitable for mariculture will be developed.