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 $53,798 million in 2004. Of this, marine molluscs
contributed 11.2 Mt (28.1%). Asian countries contributed a lion's share of 91% of
the total molluscans aquaculture.
Mussels are bivalve molluscs and are found attached to rocks or other hard objects
by their byssus threads. In India two species of marine mussels, namely the green
mussel Perna viridis, and the brown mussel, P. indica,
contribute to the fishery. At present commercial mussel culture is not practiced
in the country.
India at present produces more than 3,000 tonnes of farmed mussels and oysters every
year, which is expected to cross 10,000 tonnes in the next two years. As more and
more maritime states adopt bivalve farming, India appears to set for a further increase
in production. However, according to FAO, the world mussel export in 2004 was estimated
to value US$ 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.