State Sponsored Crab Conservation- A First in Asia
The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior and Local Governments have announced approval of a Joint Administrative Order (JAO) regarding the conservation and regulation of Blue Swimming Crab. In order to protect and bolster Blue Swimming Crab stocks, the order installs important sustainability policies governing minimum catch size, responsible fishing gear, closed crabbing seasons and the protection of berried female crabs.
According to Bobby Eduardo, treasurer of the Philippine Association of Crab Processors, Inc (PACPI) and a member if the NFI Crab Council Executive Committee the order is a pivotal event in the Blue Swimming Crab sustainability movement.
“So far, crab conservation has been an industry-led effort spearheaded by PACPI and partners like the NFI Crab Council,” said Mr. Eduardo. “But the Philippines’ willingness to advance Blue Swimming Crab sustainability through government action represents a landmark moment. Countries are recognizing the importance of enriching crab fisheries with formal rules and goals. The Philippines has been the most aggressive and hopefully other countries will follow.”
The order puts into effect a comprehensive Fishery Management Plan authored by Blue Swimming Crab stakeholders in industry, academia and government. The Fishery Management Plan outlines measures based on scientific evidence and implements penalties and fines for noncompliance.