The site selected for collection of seed should be free from pollutants. Seeds collected from the submerged (sub tidal) areas will be healthier. After removing other organisms and weeds, the seeds were washed thoroughly in sea water. About 500-750g of seed is required for seeding on one meter length of rope. The ideal size of the seed is 15-25mm 1ith 1-2g weight. The length of the rope is decided by considering the depth where the raft/rack is positioned. While suspending the seeded rope on rack it must be tied in such a way that the upper seeded portion of the rope should not get exposed during the low tide.
Nylon rope of 12-14mm 0r 15-20mm coir rope can be used for seeding. Old cottonnet, cotton mosquito net or cheap cotton cloth are used for covering the seeds around the rope. Cotton netting of required width and length is placed on the floor and required quantity of seeds spread over the net from one end to the. The rope is kept above the net and is tightly stitched in such a way that the seeds spread uniformly around the rope. The cloth will disintegrate within 2-3 days. By this time seeds will secrete byssus thread and will get attached itself to the rope. To avoid slipping of the mussels, knots are made on seeded rope at the distance of 25cm. Placing split bamboo pegs in the rope(12-14mm) at regular intervals will also serve the purpose.
The Seed, which get attached to ropes, show faster growth in the suspended column water. If the seed is not uniformly attached, crowded portion always show slipping. To avoid slipping, periodical examination of seeded rope and thinning of the same is essential. The ropes also should be suspended in such a way that it will not touch the bottom as well as the seeded portion is not exposed for longer period during low tide. Seeded mussel on the upper portion of the rope shows faster growth due to the abundance of phytoplankton. For better growth the seeded ropes should be spaced at a distance of 25 cm.
Training Manual on The eranaipunya - Equipping Fisherwomen Youth for Future 187In open sea – farming, growth of mussel is very rapid. They attain 80-110 mm in 5-6months with an average growth of 13.5mm/month and an average weight of 35-45g.This growth is observed in farms at various locations. In estuarine farming, mussels attain 75-90mm in 5 months with an average weight of 35-40g and an average production of 10 -12 kg/m rope.
Management:-Constant vigil is required to see that the raft/rack is in position. Thinning may be done if necessary to avoid loss of mussel and to provide enough growing space. Periodic removal of fouling organisms like barnacles, tubiculous poly cheates and ascidians is to be done for improved growth.