Village chief wants harvesting of blue crabs (alimasag) with eggs banned

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The barangay captain of a coastal barangay in Puerto Princesa City urged the national and local governments to prohibit the catching of blue crabs with eggs or sponge to protect their population and ensure the sustainable management of the species and other fishery resources.

Speaking before the personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), personnel from the city government, and other stakeholders during the meeting for the Management Zones for Snake Island recently, Roberto Tero, punong barangay of Tagburos, said that catching the blue crabs with spawn should be regulated through an ordinance.

Barangay Tagburos is one of the city’s coastal barangays and majority of its population are fishers. He observed that these fishers gather blue crabs with eggs preventing these to multiply.

“Itong pangunguha ng alimasag na may bihod ay dapat ipagbawal. Kinukuha kasi nila (mga mangingisda) sayang. Kahit pa may BFAR advisory ay hindi nila naintindihan. Mas maganda may batas o ordinansa. Kung may batas ibabalik yun at bitawan sa dagat,” he said.

He added that while fishers earn, it will sacrifice the life cycle of the blue crabs and the sustainable management of coastal resources.

“Kung ang mga tao ay naghihirap ay nanghihinayang sila na ibalik yun, pero habang kinukuha yan ay mas lalo silang naghihirap,” he warned.

The average sponge of a blue crab has about two million eggs, but may contain anywhere from 750,000 to 8 million eggs depending on the size of the crab. The sponge is formed in about two hours and is roughly one third the size of the female crab’s body.

Joven Delgado, aquaculturist from the City Agriculture Office, said that there are existing national laws that prohibit the catching and gathering of these blue crabs with eggs or sponge.

“Sa RA 8550 (Fisheries Code) ay bawal talaga, nakalagay doon. Mayroong JAO (Joint Administrative Order) dyan ang DA, BFAR, DENR. Basta sa size ng alimasag ay alam ko na may batas,” he explained.

There are four breeds of crabs found in markets: the native crab, king crab, alimasag (blue crabs), and Cruzan (red crabs).

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