Mussel farmers at Moothakunnam near here, who were battered badly by the massive floods in August last year, are reaping a bumper harvest this season thanks to the initiative of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Five self-help groups (SHGs) in the region have harvested 6.5 tonnes of mussels from five farming units.
The farmers, most of whom are women, turned to bivalve farming as an additional livelihood option. They sustained severe loss in the floods which destroyed farming units. They were also worried that post-flood changes in the aquatic ecosystem might affect mussel farming. But they are now relieved and are hopeful of making good their losses, said a communication from CMFRI.
The Molluscan Fisheries Division of CMFRI guided the farmers in their venture from January. After the harvest, mussels underwent depuration, the process of expelling contaminants from the gills and guts of mussels using purified seawater. The method too was developed by CMFRI.
Depurated mussel meat from the farms is available for sale at CMFRI. It can be had from the Agriculture Technology Information Centre (ATIC) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all working days till the stock lasts, a press release said. Mussels, priced at ₹175 for a 250-gram packet, are rich in protein, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals (calcium, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus) and vitamins.