The Edible Molluscs of the Madras Presidency: Report No: 1 (1917), Madras Fisheries Bulletin, Vol: XI, Page 1 to 51 (Classic Reprint)
Except in Malabar the utilization of shellfish properly so-called has comparatively little economic importance at the present moment in the Madras Presidency. If Cephalopods, which are specialized and highly developed molluscs, be included, then Palk Bay may be added as a second locality, as several species of Octopus, Squid and Cuttlefish rise there to a position of considerable value in the economy of the lives of our fisherfolk. Except in these two localities the molluscan resources of our seas are largely neglected and undeveloped. Apart from the poorer classes of coast dwellers, shellfish as an article of food is generally despised, and except in the instance of oysters in Madras City, of mussels in Malabar, and squid in Ramnad district, none is ever seen exposed for sale in South Indian fish markets. When one remembers the important position occupied by various species of shellfish in the littoral fishing industries of other countries - Britain, France, the United States, and Japan are instances - this fact is much to be regretted, and it behoves the Fisheries Department to do everything possible to remove prejudice against the inclusion of shellfish in the general dietary of our towns and to increase the quantity and quality of those kinds which are both suitable from the food standpoint as well as susceptible by cultivation of extended increase in the amount available for distribution. It may also be found necessary to supplement our indigenous supplies by the introduction of larger and more prolific species and varieties from other countries: the discovery and introduction of such improved kinds should be kept steadily in view in all attempts to increase and improve our supplies of shellfish.
In this connexion it is notable that some shellfish highly valued in other parts of the world and occurring there in great abundance, are scarce and usually of small size in India.
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