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Shell Mining in Kumarakom

One of the main activities of the villagers is shell mining as there is an abundance of black clam (Villorita cyprinoides) in the backwaters of Kumarakom. The villagers, mostly women and children, stand knee-deep in water and pick the shells from the water bed.

The backwaters are an ideal habitat for Villorita. The shell has great commercial value as it is used as raw material for manufacturing cement, fertilizers, pesticides and some medicines. The heat technique is used to facilitate shucking and the clam meat is cooked and eaten or used as shrimp feed in shrimp farms.

Shell Mining Methods

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