Author(s): Jones S
In the recent years there has been a growing world interest to develop mussel fisheries in various countries which sustain fairly adequate mussel resources. Holland and Spain, the Iw o Iciidirg countries in muEEel production, have developed simple but effective techniques of mussel farmirg ar.d tcgeiher account for about 80% of mussels caught in the world. In India, in common with the other molluscf n shellfishes, mussel fishery is still in an underdeveloped state, mussels being collected by hand-pickirg frcm (he exposed rocks or diving in shallow waters. There are two species of mussels, the commoner green mussel and the brown mussel, both belonging to the genus Mytilus. While the former is widely distributed on ihe esst as vNell as west coast the latter has a restricted distribution in the Kanyakumari-Tinnevely coast of the Madras Stale and the South Kerala Coast. Almost all the rocky stretches, including the breakwaters, piles, etc. laid by man, along the coast frcm the shoreline to a depth of 6- 8 m. harbour mussels and the west coast contains more mussel beds than the east coast. Adequate statistics are not a\ailable en ihe musfel landings sr.d their siie ccn-pcsilicn. In ihis article an attempt is made to assess the extent of presently known mussel resources objecti\eIy. The need for obtaining necessary biological data is stressed. Systematic farming of the mussels by collecting the seed and growing them in sheltered areas will in(;rease the production at least fivefold. Enhanced production will also open up scope for mussel canning. The possibilities of developing mussel fishery as an organired industry by a more scientific utilization of this potential resource are pointed out.