The present communication reviews the present state of mud crab fishery in the Indian Sundarban coast based on our field studies on capture and culture of crabs since 1980s. In this region, capture fishery depends on simple methods, using hook and line, while crab fattening in brackishwater ponds depends on household labour and indigenous feeds. The practice of fattening of crabs is based on discarded mud crab congeners of the genus Scylla viz., Scylla serrata (Forskal, 1775), Scylla tranquebarica (Fabricius, 1798) and Scylla olivacea (Herbst, 1796) without segregating species-wise. Uncertainty of species level identity as well as wild harvest of under-size crabs are major constraints in capture fishery and development crab fattening in this region. In this context, recognition of species level identity is considered vital towards sustainable wild harvest including fattening of discarded mud crabs, which plays an important role in the rural economy of Indian Sundarban. It is believed that species specific and size specific fattening enterprise may lead to easy aquacultural operation and precise production of crabs even in the reduction of cost of fattening operation.
Nandi NC*, Pramanik SK and Dev Roy MK