62,000 blue crabs released in northern Iloilo-A A +A
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
TO RESTORE the Iloilo province’s dwindling crab resource, around 62,000 juvenile blue swimmer crabs were released in sanctuaries of Anilao, Banate and Estancia recently.
The crabs were produced at the hatchery of Philippine Association of Crab Processors Inc. (PACPI) in Barangay Buyu-an, Tigbuan town.
Early this year, several batches of crabs from PACPI hatchery were also released in sanctuaries of Ajuy and Carles, all in northern Iloilo.
Aside from the reseeding activity, an advocacy campaign focusing on the protection of juvenile and gravid blue crabs was also held therein.
Also, an ordinance was passed last year to ban the catching of gravid (berried) and undersized blue crab with a carapace measuring less than 11 centimeters (4.6 inches).
The local law, authored by former Provincial Board member Jett Rojas, also prohibits fishermen from using a gill net that has a twines size below 0.3 millimeter and has four knots.
The governor, however, has the power to issue special permits to institutions to catch blue crabs for scientific or research purposes.
Violators of the newly-passed ordinance will be fined with P5,000 and/or imprisoned for six months to a year upon the discretion of the court.
Authorities who will confiscate gravid and undersized blue crabs must return the same to the sea if alive or donate them to charitable institutions.
Confiscated stocks may also be disposed through other means most favorable to the government.
The Provincial Government, through the Provincial Agriculture’s Office, has been intensifying this campaign due to evident decrease in blue crab harvest seen through the years.
From 2010 to 2011 for instance, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Western Visayas reported that blue crab harvest declined from 10,000 metric tons to 5,000 metric tons.
Among the reasons of supply’s depletion is attributed to “indiscriminate and irresponsible fishing.” (PR)