Skip to main content

Green mussel (Perna viridis L.) farming in India: an analysis of major growth milestones, recent decline due to disease incidence, and prospects for revival


Green mussel farming as a small-holder-friendly, livelihood-enabling supplementary activity along the backwaters in the southwest coast of India is analyzed in this paper covering various phases of its adoption and growth. Though a benign enterprise that does not demand significant establishment cost and labor-intensive culture activities, green mussel production is presently at a crossroads, facing severe challenges at its very cradle, owing to various biotic and abiotic constraints. The main underlying factors are analyzed, physical and economic losses estimated, and policy options suggested to enable a steadfast revival.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10


  • Aguirre-Macedo ML, Sima Alarez RA, Roman-Magana MK, Guemez Ricalde JI (2007) Parasite survey of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica in coastal lagoons of the southern Gulf of Mexico. J Aquat Anim Health 19:270–279

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Anil MK, Gomathi P, Raju B, Krishna Priya PM, Salini O, Ambarish PG, Surya S (2018) Micro-nurseries for bivalve seed production. Mar Fish Inf Serv 236:22–24 Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi

    Google Scholar 

  • Appukuttan KK (1980) Culture of brown mussel Perna indica at Vizhinjam. Mar Fish Inf Serv 16:11–13 Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi

    Google Scholar 

  • Appukuttan KK, Kripa V, Velayudhan TS, Mohammed KS, Victor VCC, Kuriakose PS, Lakshilatha P, Muthiah P (2000) Bivalve mariculture in India-a success story in coastal ecosystem development, APAARI Publication: 2000/1, Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions, FAO, Bangkok, Thailand.

  • Asokan PK, Vipinkumar VP, Appukuttan KK, Surendranathan VG, Sivadasan MP (2001) Mussel culture in backwaters of Kasargod district, Kerala. Mar Fish Inf Serv 169:9–11 Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi

    Google Scholar 

  • Chakraborty K, Chakkalakal SJ, Joseph D, Asokan PK, Vijayan KK (2016) Nutritional and antioxidative attributes of Green Mussel (Perna viridis L.) from the south western coast of India. J Aquat Food Prod Tech 25(7):968–985

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clegg TA, Morrissey T, Geoghegan F, Martin SW, Lyons K, Ashe S, More SJ (2014) Risk factors associated with increased mortality of farmed Pacific oysters in Ireland during 2011. Prev Vet Med 113(2):257–267

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fox M, Christley R, Lupo C, Morre H, Service S, Campbell K (2020) Preventing and mitigating farmed bivalve disease: a Northern Ireland case study. Aquac Int 28(2020):2397–2417

  • Kamermans P, Capelle JJ (2019) Provisioning of mussel seed and its efficient use in culture. In: Smaal A, Ferreira J, Grant J, Petersen J, Strand Ø (eds) Goods and services of marine bivalves. Springer, Cham

  • Kripa V, Mohammed KS (2008) Green mussel, Perna viridis, farming in Kerala, India-technology diffusion process and socio-economic impacts. J World Aquacult Soc 39(5):612–624

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kuriakose PS (1980) Open sea raft culture of green mussel at Calicut. Bull Cent Mar Fish Res Inst 29:33–38

    Google Scholar 

  • Laxmilatha P, Thomas S, Asokan PK, Surendranathan VG, Sivadasan MP, Ramachandran NP (2009) Mussel farming activities in north Kerala, India: a case of successful adoption of technology, leading to rural livelihood transformation. Sust Aquac 14(4):9–13

    Google Scholar 

  • McKindsey CW, Archambault P, Callier MD, Olivier F (2011) Influence of suspended and off-bottom mussel culture on the sea bottom and benthic habitats: a review. Can J Zool 89(7):622–646

  • Mohammed KS (2015) Mussel farming and its potential in India. In: Perumal S (ed) Advances in marine and brackishwater aquaculture. Springer, India

    Google Scholar 

  • Mohammed KS, Asokan PK, Sasikumar G, Kaladharan P, Kripa V, Sanil NK, Padua S, Prema D, Vidya R, Jenni B, Sajikumar KK, Anasukoya A, Alloycious PS, Joy J, Venkatesan V (2019) Guidance for good mussel farming practices in India based on a case study from Kerala. Mar Fish Policy Serv 10:64 Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi

    Google Scholar 

  • Murray AG, Marcos-Lopez M, Collet B, Munro L (2012) A review of the risk posed to Scottish mollusc aquaculture from Bonamia, Marteilia and oyster herpesvirus. Aquaculture 370-371(11):7–13

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nizzoli D, Welsh DT, Fano EA, Viaroli P (2006) Impact of clam and mussel farming on benthic metabolism and nitrogen cycling, with emphasis on nitrate reduction pathways. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 315(2006):151–165

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Oidtmann BC, Thrush MA, Denham KL, Peeler EJ (2011) International and national biosecurity strategies in aquatic animal health. Aquaculture 1-2(19):22–33

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • OIE (2019a) The Aquatic Animal Health Code, Twenty second edition, [online] Paris: World Organization for Animal Health. Available at: [Accessed 20 March, 2021].

  • OIE (2019b) Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals 2019. [online] Paris: World Organization for Animal Health. Available at: [Accessed 20 March, 2021].

  • Parappurathu S, George G, Narayanakumar R, Aswathy N, Ramachandran C, Gopalakrishnan A (2017). Priorities and strategies to boost incomes of marine fisher folk in India, Agric Econ Res Rev, 30 (Conference Issue): 205-216.

  • Qasim SZ, Parulekar AH, Harkantra SN, Ansari ZA, Nair A (1977) Aquaculture green mussel Mytilusviridis L. cultivation on ropes from floating ropes. Indian J Mar Sci 4:189–197

    Google Scholar 

  • Sanil NK, Vijayan KK, Kripa V, Mohammed KS (2010) Occurrence of the protozoan parasite, Perkinsus olseni in the wild and farmed Pearl Oyster, Pinctada fucata (Gould) from the Southeast coast of India. Aquaculture 299:8–14

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sasikumar G, Kumar SG, Shridhara B, Nataraja GD, Rohit P, Mohammed KS, Asokan PK, Karamathulla SP (2014) Demonstration of mussel farming in Karnataka: a success story. Fish Chimes 34(4):31–33

    Google Scholar 

  • Shamal P, Zacharia PU, Binesh CP, Pranav P, Suja G, Asokan PK, Pradeep MA, Rithesh R, Vijayan KK, Sanil NK (2018) Perkinsus olseni in the short neck yellow clam, Paphia malabarica (Chemnitz, 1782) from the southwest coast of India. J Invertebr Pathol 159:113–120.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Silva PM, Costa CP, Araújo JPB, Queiroga FR, Wainberg AA (2016) Epizootiology of Perkinsus sp. in Crassostrea gasar oysters in polyculture with shrimps in northeastern Brazil. Rev Bras Parasitol Vet 25(1):37–45.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Suja G, Kripa V, Mohamed KS, Lijo J, Mini KG, Sanil NK (2017) Parasites and pathological conditions in the edible oyster, Crassostrea madrasensis (Preston), from the east and west coasts of India. Parasitol Res 116(9):2569–2579.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Wanja DW, Mbuthia PG, Waruiru RM, Mwadime JM, Bebora LC, Nyaga PN, Ngowi HA (2020) Fish husbandry practices and water quality in central Kenya: potential risk factors for fish mortality and infectious diseases. Vet Med Int 2020:6839354

Download references


The authors are grateful to Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CMFRI), Kochi and Dr. R. Narayanakumar, Head, Socio-economic Evaluation and Technology Transfer Division, ICAR-CMFRI for their support and guidance during the course of the study. Authors thank the National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD) for the data on the prevalence of diseases in green mussel. They are also grateful for other network partners of the ‘All India Network Project on Fish Health’ project for their support and useful comments at various stages of the study.


This paper is drawn from the research work carried out under the project titled ‘All India Network Project on Fish Health’ funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shinoj Parappurathu.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests, either personal or financial, which may inappropriately influence the work.

Ethics approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Additional information

Handling Editor: Gavin Burnell

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Table 3 Ranges of the benchmark (expected) average normal yields for green mussel in Padanna backwater region, Kerala based on field survey: 2015–2016 to 2018–2019

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Parappurathu, S., Sanil, N.K., Asokan, P.K. et al. Green mussel (Perna viridis L.) farming in India: an analysis of major growth milestones, recent decline due to disease incidence, and prospects for revival. Aquacult Int 29, 1813–1828 (2021).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Small-holder aquaculture
  • Green mussel
  • Rack culture
  • Economic loss estimation
  • Disease mitigation and management