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Title: A preliminary study to evaluate the potential of heliciculture in Malta
Authors: Camilleri, Maria Salvina (2000)
Keywords: Snail farming -- Malta
Brown garden snail
Issue Date: 2000
Citation: Camilleri, M. S. (2000). A preliminary study to evaluate the potential of heliciculture in Malta (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: Heliciculture is the process of farming or raising snails. Snail farming in Malta is an innovative agricultural animal rearing activity which is still being discussed, sometimes even ridiculed, though cultivated snails are all of the same size and more hygienic, are cleaned from mucus and the flesh is of good quality. Snail meat quality together with improving human nutritional habits has resulted in increasing snail meat consumption. The outcome is an ever-increasing presence of live pre-packed snails in Maltese supermarkets, which demand cannot be further sustained through wild snail picking. The fast increase in the world-wide snail meat market demand, together with Malta's climatic conditions, may generate the possibility for the Maltese farmer to invest in snail farming and enter into an expanding local and export niche market, with resulting economic benefits to the local agricultural industry. The study did not investigate the nutritional aspect of snails but evaluated the potential of rearing snails in Malta using local, available, commercial feeds as an experimental pilot backyard snail rearing activity. This study describes the growth pattern of the snail Cantareus aspersus, fed on three different feeds and reared under a sheltered environment by measuring the live snail body weight and shell diameter. It was observed that the snails reached market size and were classified as No. 12, 'Type Medium', alive weight; 9 - I lg, confirming that this study achieved its aim as a pilot back yard snail rearing farm activity. The evaluation also reports the heterogeneity that is commonly observed in snail farming, attributed a linear relationship between the shell diameter and the live snail weight and identified a difference in growth rate between the three feeds, with the compound feed group giving a better biological growth response. The duration of study was too short and just gives an indication of what might be the situation. The need of further research on snail farming as a continuation is emphasised both for the ecological and the economic impact of this industry.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsES - 1994-2013

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