Members belonging to the families Ostreidae are called oysters in common usage.
Oyster is one of the best known and most widely cultivated marine animals. As early
as the first century B.C., the Romans practised simple method of oyster culture
by collecting oyster seed and growing them for food. The important oyster producing
countries are Japan, Republic of Korea, France and China, and together they accounted
for 78.7% of the oyster production by aquaculture in 1990.
Edible Oyster Farming
Although edible oysters are considered as prized delicacies in the west and other
advanced countries, they still remain more or less alien to the Indian palates.
Despite the wide distribution of this mollusc species, there is very little demand
in the domestic market except in Bombay. Oysters collected from the wild satisfy
the local demand in Bombay. The present fishery of edible oysters is highly localized
and it caters mainly to the western style hotels. The oyster capture fishery from
wild stocks is under-exploited and, there are no commercial oyster culture ventures
to supply domestic and export markets.
In India, to separate the oyster from the pearl oyster, the former is prefaced with
the word ‘edible’. There is vast potential for the development
of oyster culture in the tropics. In recent times, as a result of increasing
awareness coupled with the growing demand for animal protein in the context of malnutrition,
several tropical countries such as Brazil, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and
Sierra Leone have embarked upon programmes to develop oyster
culture on scientific lines.
In India, James Hornell made pioneering attempts in 1910 to develop oyster culture
in the erstwhile Madras State. Since early 70's Central Marine Fisheries Research
Institute (CMFRI) has taken up the R & D programmes on all aspects of oyster
culture and as a result, a complete package of the technology is now available in