The province of Palawan will be the pilot site for the research on Blue Swimming Crabs (BSC) starting next year, the regional office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said.
In preparation for the project that will start in 2020, National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) Project Leader Ms. Myrna Candelario of BFAR-MIMAROPA, together with some other personnel of the agency, attended a meeting on the implementation of Blue Swimming Crabs program held in Baguio City last July 2019.
Candelario heads the Inland Sea Ranching Station (ISRS) based in Brgy. Sta. Lucia, Puerto Princesa City.
Candelario was joined in Baguio City by Project Director Ms. Marinelle Espino of the Philippine Association of Crab Processors Inc. (PACPI). The association, in collaboration with the NSAP, will be conducting the research on BSC.
“The research will be on Gonadal Maturity Determination of BSC that will be implemented next year. In MIMAROPA Region, the pilot study site will be in Palawan,” BFAR MIMAROPA said in a statement.
On October 22, 2019, the BSC commodity processors and exporters, fisherfolk representatives, government agencies including the local government units (LGUs), academe, and other stakeholders gathered in Iloilo City for the formulation of BSC National Management Plan.
This initiative is spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), and the PACPI to work together for the nationwide stakeholder consultations for the development of the BSC National Management Plan.
The BFAR said that Blue Swimming Crab fisheries, being a critical source of income for Filipino fisherfolk, has sparked a significant increase in pressure on this fishery resource
The management plan formulation was initiated under the BFAR-UNDP project: Global Marine Commodities (GMC), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The UNDP said that global human consumption of seafood has been steadily rising in past decades. This necessarily created an issue on the world’s capacity to bridge the demand-supply gap. As the trend continues, international buyers and associated groups and organizations have begun supporting initiatives to help transform global fisheries into a state of sustainable management.
BSC—which is locally known as kasag, lambay, masag, and alimasag—is a commodity in high demand. Before the 1970s it was a subsistence fishery, which afterwards expanded because of the ballooning global demand.