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Harvest of crabs allowed

CRAB breeders, traders and growers can now catch, transport, trade and sell juvenile mangrove crab and mangrove crablets caught from the wild that are less than five centimeter wide in shell.

This was learned after the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has partially suspended the implementation of Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) No.264 s. 2020 in order to further support the aquaculture industry in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.The suspension of FAO 264 is mandated under Administrative Circular No. 02, s. 2021.

The BFAR, however, said the crabs that can be harvested must only be used for aquaculture.

The FAO 264 regulates mangrove crabs, juvenile mangrove crabs ans gravid mangrove crabs (Scylla Spp.)

Under Section 3 of said FAO prohibits the catching, possession, transporting, trading and selling of mangrove crablets and mangrove crab juvenile, and mangrove crablets less than 12 centimeters carapace width (CW) from the wild.

It also prohibits the catching, possession, transporting, trading and selling of

gravid mangrove crab; export of wild-sourced mangrove crablets and juvenile mangrove crabs; and export of wild-sources mangrove crabs breeders, spawners, egg or fry as per provision of Section 104 of the amended Fisheries Code.

The BFAR added that the said administrative circular shall be revoked accordingly upon the withdrawal of Proclamation No. 922 – State of Public Health Emergency or after one year, whichever comes first.

The bureau also ensured the continuous provision of measures to manage and sustainably conserve not only mangrove crabs but also all fisheries and aquatic resources, taking into consideration the livelihoods of the Filipino fisheries stakeholders, especially the fisherfolk.