Successful harvesting of spiny lobsters done

By Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Mandapam

RAMANATHAPURAM: The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Mandapam, has successfully harvested spiny lobsters, a most sought species of shellfish in the international market, through cage culture for the first time in the southern coast of the State.

NET RESULT: A fisherman with the harvested lobsters at Mandapam on Friday.— Photo: L. Balachandar.

It has been demonstrated that the lobster, which is facing the danger of extinction, owing to unhealthy practice of using bottom set gill nets that results in catching of a lot of juvenile lobsters, can be cultured in large scale in order to boost the economy of fishermen.

As per the initiative, the CMFRI with the field level participation of Fishermen and Handicapped Education Economic Development Trust (FHEEDT) floated about 10 cages made up of high density polyethylene pipes covered by nets in the sea of Mandapam about three months ago. The juvenile lobsters, which were collected from fishermen, were let in the sea case of six diameters. They were fed with trash fishes. Now, they have reached the exportable size, fetching a price of Rs.1000 per kg.

“The farming of juvenile spiny lobsters is not only a process of value-addition but also an easy way of lobster conservation. Moreover, the development and maintenance of brood stocks of lobsters in sea cages will replenish the natural stock of lobsters,” said G. Gopa Kumar, Scientist-In-Charge, CMFRI, Mandapam.

He said the cost of production per crop would be around Rs.95000 including Rs.67000 production cost, which included the cost of juveniles, feed, labour and others. The yield of lobsters through a crop could be sold for Rs.2.40 lakh, realising a net income of Rs.1.46 lakh.

He added that it had been proved that cage farming of spiny lobsters could pave the way for the development of commercial level farming ventures in the region through self-help groups. The CMFRI would provide assistance for an economically viable alternate livelihood option for fishermen.

K. Aldrin, president, FHEEDT, said the members of a self-help group, who were all physically handicapped, had actively involved in the initiative. It had already started selling lobsters to the export buyers. The successful programme might motive other fishermen groups to take up cage culture in a big way.


One Response to Successful harvesting of spiny lobsters done

  1. Jake Jacob says:

    We live in the turks and caicos and catch the spiny in the wild — can you email me some good contacts on how to start what you have done.

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