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Invasive Apple Snails and Possible Use in Aquaculture in Myanmar

January 9th, 2019

A recent study shows that introduced, non-native apple snails (Pomacea spp) have quickly spread to many parts of Myanmar through irrigation canals, irrigated fields, rivers, waterways, and waterlogged areas. The snails have become a major pest of the country’s rice industry damaging rice nurseries, direct-seeded rice fields as well as the fields with newly transplanted.  Moreover, when the snails become established in rivers and wetlands, they pose a high risk to the sustainability of the areas’ native biodiversity and, in particular, to the survival of endangered species such as the native aquatic plants, fish, amphibians, and birds. Occurrence of snails also reduces the the ecosystem services (such as availability of fresh and good-quality water), thereby reducing the availability of plants and fish as food, and making recreation activities less attractive due to diminished bird and fish populations, and growth of algal bl

The paper reviews means for combatting the snails and concludes that hand-picking offers the most environmentally suitable method and that international collaboration is needed to convert the snails into protein-rich fish feed, which could give the apple snails an economic value to farmers. Reference: Win, AK, Naing, HH & Joshi, RC. 2018. Managing the Spread of Invasive Apple Snails and Possible Utilization in Aquaculture: A Case in Myanmar. Fish for the People, 16, 38-40. Published by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center.

See also a paper co-authored by Ravi Joshi on Cambodian_invasive_Apple_Snails. Reference: Khay S, Joshi RC and Sastroutomo SS. 2018. Invasive Apple Snails: Integrated Management in Lowland Rice fields of Cambodia and Probing their Utilization in Aquaculture. Fish for the People, 16, 34-37.

[Note that Ravi Joshi is Pacific Region Coordinator for TAA].

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