Three tier modular farming system for mud crabs, Scylla serrata

Mud crabs, species of Scylla, has been the focus of diversification of coastal aquaculture in many south East Asian countries including India. Aquaculture of this species needs long rearing period (10-12 months) for culturing hatchery produced juveniles to marketable sized products. This long culture period (days of culture, DOC) hinders the production efficiency, survival rate and increased susceptibility of disease. Moreover, farmers reluctant to adopt the mud crab culture due to the long period for obtaining revenue. In order to circumvent these issues, a three tire modular farming systems (multi-phased culture system) comprising a three months nursery rearing, and four months of mid grow-out and three months of final grow-out system has been developed. In the nursery culture systems, mud crab instars (4 days old) were stocked in the earthen pond at a stocking density 10 crabs/sq. m, and reared for three months. Forty six percent of juveniles were survived after three months of rearing with an average body weight of 84.8 g and 280 kg/ha production. In the mid grow-out phase, nursery reared juveniles are reared at a stocking density 0.1 crabs per sq. m and reared for three months. The harvest weight was 270 g with a production of 1110 kg/ha. The final grow-out was for three months with a very low stocking density (0.01 crabs/sq. m), and 80% survival and with a production of 1168 kg/ha.
This form of modular production system is found to enhance the survival rate and production efficiency, and farmers would be able to get a profit within three to four months.

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