Vertical farming of Mud crabs, Scylla spp has commenced in Singapore by Gills ‘N’ Claws Aquaculture to reduce the country mud crab importation from Sri Lanka and boost local production. Recently, Singapore has imported 5,100 MT of crabs in just eleven months which costs about $30 per kilogram.
Mud crabs have large sizes and delicate flavour. They are highly sought-after seafood items that command high market prices in China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia. Mud crabs, also called mangrove crabs are found in estuaries and coasts of tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions. Common species of mud crabs include Scylla serrata, Scylla olivacea, Scylla tranquebarica and Scylla paramamosain however Scylla paramamosain is the most important species for aquaculture.
Vertical farming system in Singapore involves raising each crab in a vertically-stacked, A3-sized plastic container where water is sprinkled continually. Mud Crabs from hatchery at 4 months weighing 400g each are transferred to the vertical system where they are nurtured until they attain marketable size of 800g – 1kg each in about seven weeks. Most times, mud crabs are fed daily with a ground mixture of chicken liver and trash fish.