The common freshwater snail Bellamya bengalensis, golden apple snail Pila globosa and freshwater pearl mussel Lamellidens marginalis are naturally found in West Bengal. The meat of freshly collected adult L. marginalis is used by progressive farmers in feeds for freshwater prawns, small-scale catfish and ducks, and the shells are used to produce burnt lime.
These molluscs are also an important source of protein for poor rural communities, and are also gaining popularity in middle and high income suburban areas for their nutritional and traditional medicinal values. They also represent a significant source of employment and income generation for women from Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes in some areas of West Bengal.
This article documents the collection, preparation, trade and use of freshwater molluscs in Paschim Medinipur and Purba Medinipur districts of West Bengal.
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