Bangkok, 30 Mar 2012 -- While mud crab farming based on collection from the wild has probably taken place for hundreds of years, farming of mud crabs is a relatively recent innovation, with most research and development taking place over the last few decades. A recent FAO publication showcases innovations on mud crab farming from researchers and farmers in key nations in the Asia-Pacific region where significant industry development and extension of technology have occurred in recent years.
The last decade has seen rapid expansion in the farming of several mud crab species in China, the Philippines and Viet Nam in particular. However, compared with other types of aquaculture, mud crab culture still has a large number of variants, including: the use of seedstock collected from the wild, as well as produced from a hatchery; farming systems that range from very extensive to intensive, monoculture to polyculture; and farm sites that vary from mangrove forests to well-constructed aquaculture ponds or fattening cages.
As such, there is no one way to farm mud crabs, but techniques, technologies and principles have been developed that can be adapted to meet the specific needs of farmers and governments wishing to develop mud crab aquaculture businesses.
Compared with 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, as the use of formulated feeds for them is still in its infancy and little work has yet been undertaken to improve stock performance through breeding programmes.
The FAO publication Mud crab aquaculture, a practical manual is an introduction to all aspects of mud crab aquaculture. It provides a useful reference source for existing farmers, researchers and extension officers active in the industry and comprehensive baseline information for those in countries or companies interested in investing in this aquaculture sector.