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There is a high potential for expansion of mollusc farming in the ASEAN region as an alternative economic activity for small-scale fishermen. The species of molluscs preferred differ from country to country; careful planning to satisfy domestic demand and develop external markets should be made to ensure that prices of the product remain attractive to the fishermen to opt for seafarming.

Traditional techniques have to be improved and better farming sites have to be identified other than the existing farm grounds where domestic pollution as well as industrial wastes are high. The quality of product from these sites does not en-courage increased domestic consumption.

The lack of sanitary and health guidelines for producers and processors alike does not eliminate the health hazards of mollusc consumption. This situation does not also provide any of the producing countries the opportunity to enter the export market for mollusc products in whatever form.

There is lack of sustained research on mollusc farming, post harvest and processing. Despite favourable conditions for mollusc production in the region, the technical information needed for improvement of farming techniques, processing and post harvest are limited. As a consequence, production methods have remained traditional in conventional grounds, most of which are already unfit for farming due to pollution. The expansion of mollusc culture could also produce shrimp feed to substitute imported fish meal. Mussel meat has been found to be a very good feed material for shrimps. Excess supply of mussels, if any, could be channelled to prawn feeds.

The experience of Japan and Korea could be adapted under tropical conditions. The government, however, must pave the way and provide incentives to small-scale fisher-men.

The ASEAN/UNDP/FAO Regional Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Development Project (RAS/84/016), sponsored a training course on oyster farming jointly with the Regional Seafarming Development and Demonstration Project (RAS/86/025). It was hosted by the Republic of Korea on June 1988 wherein government technicians and sea-farmers from ASEAN countries were selected to participate. This training course gave the participants hands-on experience in modern techniques of oyster culture. The application of knowledge gained from the training course is a small contribution towards further development of oyster culture in the ASEAN countries.

This document was prepared to disseminate relevant technical information to fisheries administrators, development planners and extension workers in the expansion of bivalve culture as an alter-native activity of small-scale fishermen.


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