Mud crab aquaculture - A practical manual

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 567

Mud crab aquaculture
A practical manual


Colin Shelley
FAO Consultant
Australia

and

Alessandro Lovatelli
Aquaculture Officer
Aquaculture Service
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
Rome, Italy

 


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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2011


ABSTRACT

Shelley, C.; Lovatelli, A.
Mud crab aquaculture –A practical manual
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. No. 567. Rome, FAO. 2011. 78p.

There are four species of mud crab, Scylla serrata, S. tranquebarica, S. paramamosain and S. olivacea that are the focus of both commercial fisheries and aquaculture production throughout their distribution. They are among the most valuable crab species in the world, with the bulk of their commercial production sent live to market. This is the first FAO aquaculture manual on this genus, covering everything from its basic biology and aquaculture production, through to stock packaging and being ready to go to market.

Information on mud crab biology, hatchery and nursery technology, grow-out systems, disease control, processing and packaging has been collated in this manual to provide a holistic approach to mud crab aquaculture production. 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.

Each of the four species of Scylla has subtly different biology, which equates to variations in optimal aquaculture production techniques. Where known and documented, variants have been identified, where not, farmers, researchers and extension officers alike may have to adapt results from other species to their mud crab species of choice and local climatic variables. 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.


CONTENTS

Preparation of this document
Abstract
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations, acronyms and conversions
Glossary


Part 1 – Biology

1.1

Taxonomy and genetics

1.2

Distribution

 

1.2.1

Local distribution

 

1.2.2

Global distribution patterns

1.3

Life history

1.4

Behaviour

 

1.4.1

Cannibalism

 

1.4.2

Migration and movement

1.5

Ecology

 

1.5.1

Local distribution

1.6

Anatomy

References

Further reading


Part 2 – Site selection

2.1

Planning

2.2

Environmental considerations

2.3

Socio-economics

2.4

Logistics

2.5

Hatchery

2.6

Grow-out

 

2.6.1

Ponds

 

2.6.2

Mangrove pens

 

2.6.3

Silviculture and canal

 

2.6.4

Cellular systems

References

Further reading


Part 3 – Basic infrastructure

3.1

Water

3.2

Power

Further reading


Part 4 – Hatchery design

4.1

Biosecurity

4.2

Water treatment

4.3

Broodstock

4.4

Incubation and hatching

4.5

Larval rearing

4.6

Feed production area

 

4.6.1

Microalgae

 

4.6.2

Rotifiers

 

4.6.3

Artemia

4.7

Electrical system

References


Part 5 – Hatchery operation

5.1

Quarantine

5.2

Broodstock

5.3

Incubation and hatching

5.4

Larval rearing

 

5.4.1

Overview

 

5.4.2

Cleaning and hygiene

 

5.4.3

Monitoring

 

5.4.4

Salinity and temperature

 

5.4.5

Prophylaxis

 

5.4.6

Maintaining larval water quality

 

5.4.7

Larval stocking

 

5.4.8

Microalgae in larval rearing

 

5.4.9

Rotifers

 

5.4.10

Artemia

 

5.4.11

Supplementary feeding of larvae

 

5.4.12

Feeding frequency

 

5.4.13

Zoea 5 to megalopa

 

5.4.14

Transportation of megalopae

References

Further reading


Part 6 – Nursery

6.1

Nursery design options

 

6.1.1

Tanks

 

6.1.2

Net cages (hapa nets)

 

6.1.3

Earthen ponds

Further reading


Part 7 – Nursery operations

7.1

Wild versus hatchery-sourced crablets

7.2

Environmental parameters for nursery culture

7.3

Feed

7.4

Harvest of crablets

7.5

Transportation of crablets

Further reading


Part 8 – Grow-out design options and construction

8.1

Ponds

 

8.1.1

Stock control netting

 

8.1.2

Dry raised feeding platforms or mounds

8.2

Mangrove pens

 

8.2.1

Mangrove pen construction

8.3

Crab fattening

 

8.3.1

Pens, tanks and cages for crab fattening

8.4

Silviculture and canal systems

8.5

Cellular systems

References

Further reading


Part 9 – Grow-out operations

9.1

Ponds

 

9.1.1

Preparation for stocking

 

9.1.2

Stocking for monoculture

 

9.1.3

Stocking for monosex monoculture

 

9.1.4

Stocking for polyculture

 

9.1.5

Stocking operations

 

9.1.6

Monitoring

 

9.1.7

Pond operations

 

9.1.8

Feeds

 

9.1.9

Feeding

 

9.1.10

Size at harvest

 

9.1.11

Harvest techniques

9.2

Mangrove pens

 

9.2.1

Preparation of mud crab pens prior to stocking

 

9.2.2

Stocking

 

9.2.3

Feeding

 

9.2.4

Feeds

 

9.2.5

Maintenance

 

9.2.6

Monitoring

 

9.2.7

Harvest

9.3

Crab fattening

 

9.3.1

Assessing crabs – empty or full

 

9.3.2

Stocking

 

9.3.3

Feeds and feeding in fattening systems

 

9.3.4

Harvest

9.4

Silviculture and canals

 

9.4.1

Stocking and feeding

 

9.4.2

Harvest

References

Further reading


Part 10 – Product quality

10.1

Post-harvest

10.2

Significant stressors of mud crabs

10.3

How to minimize stress in mud crab supply chains

10.4

Treatment of mud crabs in purge or recovery tanks

10.5

Receiving mud crabs into a processing facility

10.6

Processing

10.7

The grades

 

10.7.1

Grades A, B, ...

 

10.7.2

One claw

 

10.7.3

Slow

 

10.7.4

Commercially unsuitable crabs

 

10.7.5

Dead or diseased

10.8

Food handling

10.9

Packaging

10.10

Transportation

Further reading


Part 11 – Health management

11.1

Biosecurity

11.2

Mud crab diseases

11.3

Health management

11.4

Disease management and treatment in mud crab farming

References


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