Agreement inked to boost Catanduanes crab industry

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By Milthon Lujan

The Philippines.- The crab industry in Catanduanes is set to get a boost after the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) tasked the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) to conduct surveys and trainings this year towards establishing mangrove crab seed banks, nurseries and grow-out production farms in the province.

In an agreement signed recently between the two institutions, BFAR Central Office allotted P500,000 for the undertaking, an implementation of RA 10857, which will consider areas in the municipalities of Virac, Bato, Baras, Gigmoto, Viga, Panganiban, Bagamanoc, San Andres, Caramoran and Pandan as sites for the proposed mangrove seed banks and culture sites.

Having researched on mangrove crabs since the late 1990s, SEAFDEC/AQD was tasked to determine the technology package to be deployed in the identified mangrove crab seed banks, nurseries, and grow-out sites, as well as outline the production cycles and produce facility designs with detailed blueprints.

Aside from conducting site surveys, SEAFDEC/AQD will also train staff of BFAR Region 5, Catanduanes Provincial Agriculture Office, Catanduanes State University, and local government units, on scientific protocols and analytical methods to determine and monitor the status of wild mangrove crab populations in the province.

RA 10857 mandates that abandoned, undeveloped or underutilized fishponds covered by fishpond lease agreements will be prioritized for site assessment of potential mangrove crab seed banks, nurseries, and grow-out.

SEAFDEC is a regional treaty organization established in 1967 to promote fisheries development in Southeast Asia. Member countries include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. AQD, one of SEAFDEC’s five technical departments, is dedicated to aquaculture research and development through the production, dissemination and exchange of aquaculture information.

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