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Publications and Documents, RAS/90/002



The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute is the nerve centre of pearl culture technology in India. In accordance with the policy of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research on transfer of technology, the above technologies developed by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute have been disseminated through training courses offered to candidates sponsored by different governments, universities and other agencies. The aim of the training programmes has been to extend the technical know-how to end-users.

Since fisheries development in India is the responsibility of the States/Union Territories, the target group for training consists of technical officers of fisheries departments of the maritime States and Union Territories. The scientists of the Fisheries Colleges of Agricultural Universities and other Research Institutes are also given training.

15.1 Training programmes in pearl culture

The technology of pearl culture was originally developed in Japan, which naturally captured the world market for cultured pearls. Japan has helped some other countries, like Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, in developing pearl culture practices. The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, after developing the technology indigenously, has adopted an open policy of imparting the technology through training courses, not only to Indian citizens but also to foreign technicians who are sponsored by their respective Governments.

15.1.1 Long-term training course

A long-term training course of six months duration was conducted once in 1976–77 by the CMFRI for managerial and supervisory personnel. This was a comprehensive course which dealt with pearl oyster resources, oyster biology, mother oyster culture, pearl collection and farm management. Nine trainees from maritime states of India participated in that programme.

15.1.2 Short-term training course

The above long-term course has been replaced by a shortterm course of 4–6 weeks duration. Four such programmes were conducted between 1977 and 1986, in which 25 personnel were trained. The content was developed for technicians. The course is more popular among the interested organizations. The course curriculum is confined to mothe-oyster culture, pearl oyster surgery and pearl collection. Details of the curriculum are given below:


Theory: Morphology and anatomy of pearl oyster; functions of mantle; pearl-sac formation; mechanism of production of cultured pearls.

Mother oyster culture

Practical: oyster raft culture; construction of rafts and holding baskets; pearl oyster collection and farming; farm maintenance; care of oysters.

Pearl oyster surgery

Practical: Handling of surgical instruments; selection and conditioning of oysters; graft tissue preparation; nucleus implantation; post-operation care of oysters.

Pearl collection

Practical: Bleaching; collection of pearls, cleaning of pearls; sorting of pearls.

Refresher training courses have also been conducted as and when requests were received.

Apart from the above nominees who underwent training in the long-term, short-term and refresher courses in pearl culture, a batch of 16 participants of a Summer Institute in Culture of Edible Molluscs, were also trained on the techniques of pearl culture and pearl oyster surgery.

15.1.3 Training programme in pearl oyster hatchery

This is a 4-week course. This is useful not only to those concerned with pearl culture, but also to the molluscan aquaculturists who wish to raise marine bivalve stocks in hatchery. The course curriculum includes infrastructure facilities needed for a hatchery, biology of pearl oyster, controlled maturation and spawning, microalgal food production, larval rearing, larval feeding, water quality management, disease control, spat settlement, spat collection and juvenile rearing.

The first training course was conducted during 1986.

15.1.4 Training for mariculture students

An intensive one-week training on the techniques of pearl culture and pearl oyster hatchery is given to each batch of students of M.Sc. and Ph.D. courses in mariculture under the post-graduate teaching programme in mariculture of CMFRI every year.

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