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Visayas State University

Department of Agricultural Engineering
Baybay City, Philippines
Phone: +63 53 335 2624 Fax: +63 53 335 2601
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------AEng 175 – AQUACULTURE ENGINEERING
Name: Jerome James Gideon E. Calipon
Kevin Vilbar
Professor: Manolo B. Loreto

Date Given: June 14, 2013
Date Submitted: June 21, 2013

Laboratory Exercise No. 1
Crab is a short, flat body that is nearly circular (Fig. 1) and dwells in land, oceans
or in fresh water. Generally covered with a thick exoskeleton and armed with a single
pair of claws. True crabs belong to the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a
very short projecting tail, or where the reduced abdomen is entirely hidden under the

Figure 1: The back and abdominal view of a Chinese Mitten Crab
In Philippines and perhaps elsewhere, crabs are rarely stocked in fish ponds but
usually they enter of their own settlement. They may even be discouraged as possible
predators on small fish and shrimp and because they may tunnel in the banks, but
generally they are accepted and harvested along with the fish and shrimp crop. The
production of crabs especially the swimming crabs, Scylla serrata, from brackish water
ponds in Taiwan in 1966 was 168,102 kg (Bardach, J.E., Similarly, other ponds
like tilapia and milkfish ponds produce an average of 200 crabs/(ha)(year).
Description and Life Cycle:
The growth stages and development of the crabs consist of a series of larval,
juvenile, and adult see figure 2. These changes are most remarkable when the animal

html) Description of Production Cycle: Hatchery Basic technology has been developed for the commercial seed production of swamp crabs.sheds its rigid exoskeleton or molts allowing growth and changes in body shape. Females with mature gonads are obtained from the wild or from ponds. The performance of hatchery-reared crabs is comparable with those of the wild. male and female crabs are stocked in different ponds. Existing shrimp hatcheries could shift to rearing swamp and mud crabs after slight modification of their facilities. The stage between molts is called intermolt. shellfish and squid is fed at 5-10 percent of biomass or on an ad libitum basis. Male and female brooder crabs are transferred at a . given suitable pond conditions. but it expands and hardens in a few hours. Figure 2. They are maintained in tanks provided with sand bottoms and shelters. Rearing tanks Healthy well-grown adult crabs from crab pens or open water bodies (lakes/reservoirs) are selected as broodstock in October and restocked for intensive rearing to ensure good gonad development.bluecrab. such as fish. The new shell is originally soft. A combination of two or more natural food marine worms (polychaetes).The Description and Life Cycle of a Crabs (http://www. A new shell is formed underneath the old exoskeleton ahead of molting which then loosens and is cast off. disinfected and optionally eyestalk-ablated.

Stocking density can be increased if the culture period is less than 4 weeks.6 cm CW. Some farmers prefer larger crabs. Rearing crabs in paddy fields is another common practice. so they ongrow them to 3. Ongrowing ponds The most commonly adopted systems for ongrowing are semi-intensive culture in ponds and net-pens and extensive culture in paddy fields and small lakes/reservoirs. being integrated agroaquaculture and of benefit to both crabs and rice. much lower stocking densities are used (7–20 g crabs at 6 000–9 000/ha). The pond area ranges from 200 to 800 m 2.0 cm are grown to 1.5–2 m deep. they are best transported in oxygenated plastic bags containing 2 litres of cool seawater at a density of 1 000 crablets for 0. Extensive culture in lakes and reservoirs. Semi-intensive culture in net-pens. The net cages (1 mm mesh size) with at least 20 m2 bottom surface areas are set in ponds. Phases 1 and 2 may be carried out separately or sequentially using the same pond compartment but with reduced stocking density for Phase 2. Due to the short culture period.0 cm CW in ponds lined with nets or net fences lining the dikes at 510/m2 (Phase 2). and 250-500 crablets for 1. 5–10 g crabs are stocked at 22 500–37 500/m². The culture period is 3-4 weeks in each phase. respectively. and relatively shallow water. Crablets of 1.0 cm CW may be transported in a . Aquatic weeds are planted in shallow areas of the ponds to provide shelter for moulting crabs and plastic sheet fencing is used to prevent crab escape. Crabs of less than 1. abundant aquatic weeds and benthic animals. Pen culture of crabs is commonly practiced in shallow lakes and reservoirs.8 m above the water surface and is extended inwards by a horizontal net.5 cm for a maximum of 8 h.5-2. A survival rate of 50-70 percent and 70-83 percent can be obtained in Phases 1 and 2. Ponds used for ongrowing river crabs are usually 0.15–0. Crab pens are normally 2–20 ha and are normally stocked at the same time those in ponds. this results in a relatively large product size. Semi-intensive culture in ponds. Gravid females are reared for about one month under intensive care before the eggs hatch.0-4.5-2. Packing and Transport Smaller crabs moulted frequently. A minimum of 6 runs can be conducted per year. This form of culture can achieve very high economic benefits. The modification of paddy fields for crab ongrowing is the same as in seed production.4-0. it is an ecologically friendly approach. The major criteria in selecting suitable water bodies include selecting a size that is manageable (from the point of view of controlling fishing activities and to prevent escapes of cultured crabs).7-1. usually in early spring. net-lined ponds and ponds with net fences lining the dikes. while the upper edge is about 0. The bottom part of the pens is buried into the bottom soil. Nursery Nursery systems that can be used for swamp and mud crabs sourced either from the wild or from hatcheries include net cages in ponds. depending on the desired size for stocking in ponds.0 cm.35 ha and 1. 500-750 crablets for 0. Extensive culture in paddy fields.female:male ratio of 2 3:1 to mating tanks filled with saline water (7–33‰) in the following spring (late February–early March). Male crabs are removed after mating is completed (usually after two weeks).1-1.0 cm CW in net cages at 20-50/m2 (Phase 1).

Water pH Tolerance range is pH 6-8. and omnivores. benthic macroinvertebrates.fao. Crabs are susceptible to sudden drops in temperature. Crab growth is regulated by water measuring 45L x 35W x 10H cm with wet cloth or sand at a density of 500700 for maximum of 6 h. adult crabs leave shallow. At various stages in the life cycle. mollusks. but requirements vary by life stage. Water Salinity Salinity is important. blue crabs serve as both prey and as consumers of plankton. Ovigerous crab Maturation tank (females only) Adult crab Hatching Ongrowing ponds males and females Juveniles Larval rearing tanks Crab instar rearing pond lined with nets or fenced with nets on dikes Figure 3: Production Cycle of a Crabs Scylla serrata (http://www. Generally optimum is 3-15 parts per thousand. fish. crustaceans (including other blue crabs). Water temperature above 91°F (33°C) is lethal. bottom carnivores. . Food is located by a combination of chemoreception (chemical sense) and taction (touch). Environmental Raquirements: Water Temperature Water temperature requirements vary and are considered important. Growth occurs when water temperatures are above 59°F (15°C). Food Requirements: Blue crabs are classified as general scavengers. Less than 6 are lethal. but no optimal range is reported. inshore waters and seek deeper areas where they bury themselves and remain in a state of torpor throughout the winter. When air temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C). and organic debris. plants.

bottom carnivores. Megalope are considered general scavengers. technologies and principles have been developed that can be adapted to meet the specific needs of farmers and governments wishing to develop mud crab aquaculture businesses. monoculture to polyculture. and aquatic plants and associated fauna such as roots. Juvenile Food Juvenile crabs feed mostly on benthic macroinvertebrates. Megalope are more omnivorous than zoeae and prey upon fish larvae. eelgrass. aquatic vegetation and associated fauna. variants have been identified. and salt marsh grass. through to stock packaging and being ready to go to market. mud crab culture still has a large number of variants. There are four species of mud crab. organic debris. ditch grass. Where known and documented. disease control. paramamosain and S.. Larval Food Zoeae are phytoplanktivorous and readily consume algae. This is the first FAO aquaculture manual on this genus. crabs (including other blue crabs). which equates to variations in optimal aquaculture production techniques. farmers. processing and packaging has been collated in this manual to provide a holistic approach to mud crab aquaculture production. farming systems that range from very extensive to intensive. S. detritivores. benthic macroinvertebrates. shrimp. shoots and leaves of sea lettuce. Each of the four species of Scylla has subtly different biology. It will also prey on oyster spat. as the use of formulated feeds for them is still in its infancy and little work has yet been undertaken to improve stock performance through breeding programmes. newly set oysters and clams. S. or young oysters and quahogs if other food is unavailable. as well as produced from a hatchery. but techniques. hatchery and nursery technology. Aquaculture Production Practices: Shelley. grow-out systems. tranquebarica. small fish. covering everything from its basic biology and aquaculture production. there is no one way to farm mud crabs. phytoplankton and zooplankton. and omnivores.Adult Food Adult crabs prefer mollusks such as oysters and hard clams as their primary food sources. and farm sites that vary from mangrove forests to well-constructed aquaculture ponds or fattening cages. Information on mud crab biology. They are among the most valuable crab species in the world. with the bulk of their commercial production sent live to market. small shellfish. Economic Analysis of the Practices: . Scylla serrata. olivacea that are the focus of both commercial fisheries and aquaculture production throughout their distribution. mud crabs can still be considered to be at an early stage of development. The crab uses the tips of its front-most walking legs to probe the bottom for buried bivalves and to manipulate them after they are located. where not. Compared with many other species that are the subject of industrial scale aquaculture. dead organisms. researchers and extension officers alike may have to adapt results from other species to their mud crab species of choice and local climatic variables. A. including: the use of seedstock collected from the wild. and Lovatelli. Compared with other types of aquaculture. and aquatic plants. C. Some other common food items include dead and live fish. As such. http://www. C. marine. Higher revenue was recorded in Paikgachha region (1319712.07±0.93 The Farming and Husbandry of Freshwater and Marine Organisms.) fattening in Bangladesh. Mud crab aquaculture – A practical manual FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. A total of 50 households from Paikgachha and Koyra (25 from each) were randomly selected. The average pond size was about 0.aqua. Z. References: Bardach. Paikgachha and Koyra two sub-districts under the Khulna district.60 (BDT ha-1crop1) in Paikgachha and 448209.04 hectare. the highest seed cost (which constituted about 74. pp 668.E. from February to April 2009 during dry season by using a structured and pre-tested interview schedule in order to assess their current practice with its profitability analysis. Economic analysis of traditional mud crab (Scylla sp. However. McLarney. J.html Shelley. No.bluecrab. FAO.30 (BDT ha-1crop-1)in Koyra with average production cost ratio were about 1..73 (BDT ha-1crop-1) in two area. pdf . 567. Xiang-Guo 2010. Z.38 BDT ha-1crop-1). and cost return analysis..18% of the total cost) and lack of proper knowledge about mud crab fattening were also reported in those studied areas.O. http://www.Ferdoushi. From the result.bluecrab. Lovatelli.html http://www. and A. Ryther.94) from two area revealed that there is a great potentiality in the south west part of Bangladesh for mud crab fattening. 2010. and Z. 78p. J. The present study was conducted in two different locations. and Xiang-Guo.. 2011. Comparative higher stocking density 4879. Rome. United States of Ameica 1972.fao. Z.95 and 1. Pdf Ferdoushi. The result from cost and return analysis revealed that average gross revenue was about 1128602.01 (kg ha-1) was found in Paikgachha region than Koyra (4063.08 BDT ha-1crop-1) followed by Koyra (937493. and the average production cost ratio (1.res.2 kg ha-1). 1(1):5-13. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. From the study the net margin of crab fattening were about 642119.