Posted by: Jimely Flores | February 20, 2015

Philippine blue swimming crab at risk

The Philippine blue swimming crab fishery is at risk for several reasons:
1. Overcapacity. There are just too much harvesting than the existing natural population could support; this is manifested by declining catch rates and declining average crab sizes, undermining profitability.
2. Negative impact on the ecosystem is very high. There are no regulations whatsoever that mitigate the high bycatch problem that include species listed as endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) in the country’s red list such as some species of mollusks, dolphins and sharks’ juvenile.
3. Haphazard stock enhancement. Releases of hatchery reared in protected areas is a serious cause for concern as the activity is being done in the absence of any accepted stock enhancement protocol. It lacks the necessary transparent hatchery, releasing and post releasing protocols, this despite the now long years of operation. The risk management protocols are not even thought of before such was implemented.
4. Stocking cages of berried female crabs to simulate natural spawning is rampant even when its effectiveness is yet to be proven and the methods are not within the common science sense ecological, biological characteristics of the crabs.
5. Ghostfishing and coastal wastes mostly by discarded gillnets are everywhere.
6. Management actions towards sustainability are mostly on papers without really much work in the ground. Management actions must focus on addressing these problems. Sustainability actions other than addressing the root causes are nothing but simply empty claims designed for marketing objectives or just simply greenwashing.

Personal note:
I encourage comments upfront in the comment box. Unprofessional complains through emails to the non-authors is considered cowardice!

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