Mussel-breeding technique to triple harvest

Ismail Mohamed (middle in blue) at the mussel-breeding cluster project in Kampung Pasir Gudang Baru.

PASIR GUDANG: A new mussel-breeding cluster project using smart lines is expected to produce up to three times more shellfish compared to conventional methods.

Johor Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Committee chairman Ismail Mohamed said the new project worth about RM3.6mil was funded by the Federal Government through the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM).

He said that about 25 smart lines made from high-density polyethylene were set up in the Tebrau Straits to meet demand for the shellfish in Johor.

“Each 110m-long smart line can produce up to 20 metric tonnes of mussels which will be harvested once every six months.

“We hope that the technology which was brought in from Norway will be able meet consumer demand for mussels.

“Johor is the biggest supplier of shellfish and we are projecting 27,842 metric tonnes a year,” he said during a press conference after launching the mussel-breeding cluster project at a Mardi processing centre in Kampung Pasir Gudang Baru here.

Ismail added that the programme would help fishermen increase their mussel production.Their income has been affected due to development projects in the straits.

About 25 fishermen from the Johor Baru South area are involved in the programme.

“By using the conventional method, mussel breeders can only harvest about five metric tonnes from only one string in six months.

“With this new procedures, they can harvest between 12 and 20 metric tonnes,” he said.

Ismail pointed out that the smart line technology could be used for up to 20 years and they had already installed about six smart lines in 2011 as a start.

Mussel breeder Yacob Shahadan, 72, said they are grateful for help in improving their yield.

“This will enable us to increase our monthly income,” he said.

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