More demand for Rock Lobsters | Each Live Lobsters prawn costs at Rs. 5,000

April 26th, 2010| Uncategorized.

More demand for Rock Lobsters | Each Live Lobsters prawn costs at Rs. 5,000

We can find no non vegetarian who is not tempted for prawns. Generally the prawns are of 6 inches long. But in Kanyakumari of Tamilnadu and Vilingen of Kerala we can see the prawns of size nearly 3 feet and weighing about 2 to 4 kgs. Famous tourist place Kanya kumari is also famous Rock Lobsters type of prawns. The price of these prawns in the local market itself is about Rs. 2500 per kg.  That means on an average a lobster weighing about 2 kgs costs Rs. 5000. Crores of rupees business is done every year on these prawns. They are exported to countries like Japan and Hong Kong. These lobsters are grown by the central marine fisheries research institute on commercial basis through cage culture. National Fisheries development board encourages private organizations for this purpose. The story of lobsters is interesting.

Every year nearly 250 tons of lobsters worth Rs.72 crores are exported from India. There are three types namely Rock, Sand and Spiny but Rock lobsters have more demand. Foreigners are crazy about its taste. They are abundantly found in Kanya Kumari, Madapam and Vilingem of Kerala. They have got the name the Rock Lobsters because they are present around the rocks near the ocean up to 3kms from the beach. Since they are attached to the rocks it is not possible to sweep them through trolling as like prawns. They are also caught in the nets arranged for other fishes. Fishermen apply special techniques to catch these lobsters that are found more between September and January. Their state has made laws to protect the lobsters. It is a punishable crime to catch lobsters of weight less than 1000gms. They grow to a weight of 3 to 5 kgs normally.

Each Lobsters prawns exporting alive

Lobsters have more demand only in the international market when alive. They have to be exported along with mustaches only. So steps are being taken to export the lobsters when they are alive only. There are nearly 20 lobster export units in Kanya Kumari and Tuticorin. Lobsters are bought for export only when they weigh 300gms.  They are placed in water tubs and are provided with oxygen.  At the time of export they are kept in cool water at 14-15 degrees Celsius for 5 to 6 minutes. This will result unconsciousness of the lobster. It will be in this condition for 20 hours. They are wrapped in paper and placed in thermo coal boxes and are sent from Trivandrum to Hong Kong through plane. They will become active by placing in water as soon as they reach the destination. Customers coming to the hotel can select the lobsters in live condition which will be served after cooking.

Lobsters cannot be grown in ponds like prawns. So CMFRI has opted for cage culture. It will buy the small sized lobsters which are less than 100gms at Rs. 150 to 270 from local export units and fishermen. They are kept in the cages for 4-5 months and are grown. 3 thousand baby lobsters are kept in one cage and they grow one gram per day. It will sell after the lobster gains 250-300gms of weight. Within 4 or 5 months 700-800kgs of lobsters are grown in a cage. Calculating at least Rs 1,000 per kg an income of Rs. 7-8 lakhs can be got. Yearly 2 crops can be got. This helps in retaining the baby lobsters without killing them and they even lay eggs in cages after they attain 200gms of weight. This helps in perpetuation of their race. Local fishermen are going to establish 2 new cages with the help of CMFRI and NFDB and it will be expanded in the future.