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Free FAO Mud Crab Farming Manual

 

In 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published a 78-page manual on mud crab farming.

 

The manual, the first FAO aquaculture manual on this genus, showcases the current information on mud crab farming from key nations in the Asia-Pacific region where research, industry development and technology on mud crab farming has accelerated in recent years.  It contains contributions from all the major organizations and research teams involved in mud crab farming, along with information from numerous workshops and conferences on crab fisheries and crab farming.  Farmers, scientists, fisheries professionals, business owners, information specialists and technicians also added their knowledge to the manual so that it covers everything from basic crab biology to growout, packaging and marketing.

 

Mud crabs are among the most valuable crab species in the world, with the bulk of their commercial production marketed live.  There are four species of mud crab (pictures below) that are the focus of both commercial fisheries and aquaculture production: Scylla serrata, S. tranquebarica, S. paramamosain and S. olivaceaScylla serrata is the most popular of the farmed species.  The four species have slightly different life cycles, so farmers may have to adapt the manual's recommendations to their local species and climate.

 

There are many ways to grow mud crabs.  They can be grown from wild or hatchery-produced seedstock, on extensive or intensive farms, alone or in polyculture with other aquaculture species, and in mangrove forests, ponds and cages.  While mud crab farming based on collection of juvenile crabs from the wild has probably taken place for hundreds of years, hatchery production is a relatively recent innovation and receives extensive coverage in this manual.

 

Compared to many other species that are the subject of industrial scale aquaculture, mud crabs can still be considered to be at an early stage of development.  The use of formulated feeds for them is still in its infancy and little work has been done to improve performance through breeding programs.

 

 

Table of Contents:

 

 

Part 1 – Biology

       Taxonomy and Genetics

       Distribution

       Local Distribution

       Global Distribution Patterns

       Life history

       Behavior

       Cannibalism

       Migration and Movement

       Ecology

       Feeding

       Anatomy

       References and Further Reading

 

 

Part 2 – Site Selection

       Planning

       Environmental Considerations

       Socio-Economics

       Logistics

       Hatchery

       Growout

       Ponds

       Mangrove Pens

       Silviculture and Canal

       Cellular Systems

       References and Further Reading

 

 

Part 3 – Basic infrastructure

       Water

       Power

       Further reading

 

Part 4 – Hatchery Design

       Biosecurity

       Water Treatment

       Broodstock

       Incubation and Hatching

       Larval rearing

       Feed Production Area

       Microalgae

       Rotifers

       Artemia

       References

 

 

Part 5 – Hatchery Operation

       Quarantine

       Broodstock

       Incubation and Hatching

       Larval Rearing

       Artemia

       Supplementary Feeding of Larvae

       Feeding Frequency

       Zoea Five to Megalopa

       Transportation of Megalopae

       Tanks

       Net cages (hapa nets)

       Earthen Ponds

       Overview

       Cleaning and Hygiene

       Monitoring

       Salinity and Temperature

       Prophylaxis

       Maintaining Larval Water Quality

       Larval Stocking

       Microalgae in Larval Rearing

       Rotifers

       References and Further Reading

 

 

Part 6 – Nursery

       Nursery Design Options

       Further Reading

 

 

Part 7 – Nursery Operations

       Wild Versus Hatchery d Crablets

       Environmental Parameters

       Feeds

       Harvest of Crablets

       Transportation of Crablets

       Further Reading

 

 

Part 8 – Growout Design Options and Construction

       Ponds

       Stock Control Netting

       Dry Raised Feeding Platforms or Mounds

       Mangrove Pens

       Mangrove Pen Construction

       Crab Fattening

       Pens, Tanks and Cages for Crab Fattening

       Silviculture and Canal Systems

       Cellular Systems

       References and Further Reading

 

 

Part 9 – Growout Operations

       Ponds

       Preparation for Stocking

       Stocking for Monoculture

       Monosex Monoculture

       Stocking for Polyculture

       Stocking Operations

       Monitoring

       Pond Operations

       Feeds and Feeding

       Size at Harvest

       Harvest Techniques

       Mangrove Pens

       Preparation of Pens

       Stocking

       Monitoring

       Maintenance

       Harvest

       Crab fattening

       Assessing Crabs – Empty or Full

       Stocking

       Feeds and Feeding in Fattening Systems

       Harvest

       Silviculture and Canals

       Stocking and Feeding

       Harvest

       References and Further Reading

 

 

Part 10 – Product Quality

       Post-Harvest

       Significant Stressors

       How to Minimize Stress

       Purge or Recovery Tanks

       Processing Facilities

       Processing

       The Grades A, B and One Claw

       Commercially Unsuitable Crabs

       Dead or Diseased Crabs

       Food Handling

       Packaging

       Transportation

       Further Reading

 

 

Part 11 – Health Management

       Biosecurity

       Mud Crab Diseases

       Health Management

       Disease Management and Treatment in Mud Crab Farming

       References

 

Sources: 1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Rome, Italy). Free PDF Download.  Mud Crab Aquaculture/A Practical Manual. Colin Shelley (FAO Consultant, Australia) and Alessandro Lovatelli. Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 567. ISBN 978-92-5-106990-5.  2011. 2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, 2011.

 

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