Due to its growing demand, the seed production capacity of RGCA’s mud crab hatchery has been increased to 1.4 million per annum
Mpeda-RGCA’s mud crab hatchery technology, the only one of its kind in the country, has been granted patent by the Controller General of Patent, Design and Trademarks. The patent, an impressive milestone in India’s aquaculture sector, has been granted from 2011 and will be valid till 2030.
The hatchery technology for mud crab (scientific name – Scylla serrata) that is in good demand in South-East Asian countries, where live crabs are highly preferred as a delicacy, has been developed by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture, the research and development arm of the Marine Products Export Development Authority.
History of aquaculture
Mpeda (Marine Products’ Export Development Authority) Chairman KS Srinivas said the achievement is remarkable in the history of Indian aquaculture as for the first time the Central Government has granted a patent for this technology in the country. “It will go a long way in meeting the seed requirement of farmers who intend to undertake diversified species for aquaculture instead of concentrating on shrimp farming alone,” he said. Taking into account that there is no other hatchery for mud crab in India, RGCA had applied for patent rights for the mud crab hatchery technology in 2011 with the Controller General of Patent, Design and TradeMarks. But it was granted after a long and ardous process. This was since various global research institutions discussed the issue with experts.
Keeping in view the huge demand of mud crab, especially in South-East Asian countries, Mpeda had initiated a pilot project for mud crab seed (known as crab-instar) production during 2004 and subsequently made the commercial hatchery for the first time in India during 2013 with the capacity of one million per annum. Due to its growing demand, the seed production capacity of RGCA’s mud crab hatchery has been increased to 1.4 million per annum.
Srinivas said the major achievement lies in increasing the survival rate of crab instar from 3 per cent world record to 7 pe cent. Further, the hatchery unit is designed in such a manner that all sections are under one roof with complete bio-security measures. So far, 7.28 million seeds have been produced and supplied to 659 farmers across the country.
RGCA has been set up to give a fillip to commercialisation of diversified aquaculture species such as sea bass, mud crab, Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT), cobia, pompano and artemia. It focuses on increasing India’s marine products export by producing and supplying good quality seeds, which is a prime input for aquaculture.