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W.M.T.B. Wanninayake.

W.M.T.B. Wanninayake.

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka

Title: Current Status of Bivalve Farming in Sri Lanka


Dr. W.M.T.B. Wanninayake (Senior Marine Biologist), formerly  served as Professor of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka and Chairman, Ocean University of Sri Lanka. A former Senior Researcher of the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), Colombo. Dr. Wanninayake earned his B. Sc. In Zoology and Aquaculture (Crustacean Research ) from the University of Kalaniya, Sri Lanka and  Ph. D. in bivalve research from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. Dr. Wanninayake contributed immensely in developing the prawn farming industry and hatchery sector in Sri Lanka. He has been recognized for introducing oysters, mussels, clams and cockles farming in Sri Lanka and is also pioneer in introducing pearl culture in freshwater reservoirs.Dr. Wanninyake  is a founder member of the Asian Fisheries Forum (AFS)  and Sri Lanka Association for  Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (SLAFAR).He  has wide experience  and a profound understanding of  aquaculture and aquatic environment in many European and Asian countries. Currently he serves   in advisory capacity to few ministries related to his work in Sri Lanka




Bivalve molluscs  such  as  oysters , mussels , scallops  , clams  and  cockles  comprise  a  significant part of  the world’s fisheries  production .According  to  the  statistics  of  the  Food  and  Agriculture  Organization  (FAO) , over  14 million metric tons  of  bivalves  are  produced  annually  through  aquaculture. China, Japan, South Korea  ,Vietnam , Thailand , Australia , France,  Spain , Canada  and Jamaica are  the  main  players  in  the  market.

During  the decade  from 2000  to 2010,  a rapid increase  was  seen  in  the  production of  bivalves  and  landing  doubled from  7 million  Mt in  2000  to  more that  14 million Mt  in  2010. During this  period  bivalves  landing  from  the  wild  increased  slightly  from 2.5 – 3.5  million Mt while  cultured bivalves doubled during the same period  increasing  from 6.3 -14 million Mt  comprising nearly 75% of  the world  bivalve  production.

Sri Lanka is a south Asian Tropical Island in the Indian Ocean. It has total land area of 65610 Km2 with a population of 22 million, coastal line of the Island about 1340 Km with 158,000 ha of brackish water areas (lagoon and estuaries).

The  country  is  very  rich  in  economically important  bivalves such as oysters (Crassostrea madrasensis , Saccostrea cucullata ) mussels ( Perna viridis, P  perna ), clams (Marcia  opima,  M.  hiantina , Meretrix casta )  cockles ( Gaffrarium tumidum , Anadara granosa ) and pearl oysters (Pinctada vulgaris , P. margaritifera ) around the coastal areas .

Fishermen harvest bivalves from natural habitats in Negombo, Chilaw ,Kalpitiya , Mannar,  Jaffna , Trincomalee and Southern coastal belt of  the  country. Though  bivalve  farming is not  commonly practiced  in  the  country a  very high potential is  available in  the  above specified areas. However, with the booming of  the  tourism Industry in  coastal  areas of  Sri Lanka an attractive marketing atmosphere  in  other countries, the community based bivalve farming has  started  in  many parts  of  the country  through government intervention.

Bottom, rack, stake and raft culture systems are used for the farming of oysters, mussels and clams in these areas. Naturally available untapped bivalves, unpolluted marine water, cheaply available culture materials, law cost labour availability of technology and government support are also encouraging factors for investment in bivalve farming in Sri Lanka.

Key  words ; Bivalve  farming , oysters, mussels ,clams ,cockles .