Latest News (5)

Latest News



In an effort to breed blue swimming crab (BSC) to rebuild dwindling stocks in critical areas, PACPI opened its first BSC Hatchery in Tigbauan, Iloilo in 2013. Two years in operation and the aquaculture of crab is still difficult. Survival rate of newly-hatched larvae to crab instar is only about 5% to 10% and even lower in some cases. High mortality rates are normally a result of cannibalism during molting, or the shedding of exoskeleton. Crabs undergo series of molting throughout the larval stages. The longer they are reared, the lower their survival. From 28 days, the team has decided to reduce the rearing period to 21 days or up to the crab instar 4 stage to reduce costs and prevent further mortalities. Despite these efforts, production hit all-time low early 2015 due to reported fluctuations of water salinity and temperature, although bad management cannot be omitted.


In late 2015, PACPI has decided to close the hatchery following failed production targets and the existing pricey rental that ate up a big portion of project funds. The team moved to a private hatchery in Escalante City, Negros Island and collaborated with the Provincial Government of Negros to conduct mass production of BSC juveniles and dispersal activities in the region. The BSC hatchery commenced in April 2016 and 55,836 juveniles were produced on its first month of operation with a 9.3% survival rate. The proceeding months have been favorable, with production reaching the 70,000 mark and survival rate of 10%. September production reported 88,614 juveniles at 14.8% survival, an all-time high. As of this writing, dispersal activities have spanned 8 municipalities (14 sites/barangays) in Northern Negros namely Silay City, Talisay City, E.B. Magalona, Manapla, Victorias City, Cadiz City, Sagay City, and Escalante City.



How did the hatchery come up with such huge volume of seeds?


Aside from good management, several factors can be attributed to the success of the BSC hatchery in Negros.


Selection of healthy berried crabs. Healthy broodstock yields good quality eggs. And quality eggs hatch healthy larvae. Believe it or not, only 1 or 2 gravid crabs are “incubated” for their eggs. An intact egg sponge indicates healthy mother crab.


Good water quality. Besides thoroughly-cleaned tanks, water undergo double filtration and UV treatment. In the absence of UV, chlorine treatment can be an alternative.


Use of green water. Green water technology was a breakthrough in aquaculture in the 90s. Green water technology is a technique that uses phytoplankton-rich water obtained from saline tilapia tanks. Aside from providing algal food in the early stages of development of crabs, it is also known to inhibit growth of pathogenic microorganisms.


Optimum water conditions. BSC larvae require high saline water (28-32 ppt) and consistent, high temperature (28-34 C). One or two-unit sudden change in temperature is lethal, and without proper monitoring, this could result in mass mortalities.


Monitoring of fungal and luminous bacteria occurrence at night is also conducted.



November 15, 2016 - PACPI and University of the Philippines Visayas signed a Memorandum of Agreement to encourage student participation in Fisheries Improvement Projects for Blue Swimming Crab, Portunus pelagicus, through the Student Research Grant.
Last October 5, PACPI announced in its official Facebook page the availability of research grants for student theses aimed to support implementation of BSC projects. Priority topics include SPR assessment in key landing areas, by-catch analysis and other species interactions of BSC fishery, evaluation of current management status and stock enhancement strategies, and population genetics.

Qualified research topics can avail a subsidy of Php 25,000 for undergraduate thesis and Php 50,000 for graduate thesis (M.S. only) and many more entitlements.


“Academe plays a vital role in environmental protection and conservation being a birthplace of knowledge. And U.P. Visayas itself has championed works in the fishery science. Engaging with them through our young, brilliant students will definitely go a long way”, said Josette Genio, Program Director of PACPI.



Furthermore, PACPI plans to reach out to other Fisheries Schools to widen the scope of the project by next year. More than a grant, it will also help the less fortunate but deserving students to fulfill their theses requirements at a lesser burden.




October 6, 2016 - BFAR 7 turned over the final wave of crab pots “panggal” to beneficiary fishermen of Getafe, Bohol last Thursday, October 6 as part of the on-going Gear Swap Program for crab fishers in selected sites in Danajon Bank.


Due to the bulk of the pots that were earlier raised by the fishermen, BFAR has introduced a sample of a collapsible crab trap that the agency is planning to mass produce by next year. This is in response to the reports that earlier beneficiaries of pots in Talibon and Inabanga failed to use them for fishing. BFAR 7 Director, Andy Bojos, also ordered the LGUs to formulate local ordinance on the regulated use of lift nets that such shall only be deployed in waters of at least 10 meters in depth to minimize catching of immature crabs. The bigger, adult crabs can be found in deep waters, often at the sea bottom where they burrow and seek protection from predators.




The activity went on for one and a half hours, primarily due to the issues and concerns of the participants on this new gear. Possession of small boats that cannot accommodate the pots seemed to be the common ground. To aid in proper documentation, the attendees were encouraged to participate in the forthcoming Gear Swap Monitoring survey that will be conducted by PACPI sometime in December.



A brief IEC on the JAO was also conducted and posters were distributed to the fishermen afterwards. Representatives from Mayor's office, Bohol Provincial Fisheries office, DA, and PACPI were also present.





September 9, 2016 - PACPI conducted a 2-day survey of crabbing operations in Malampaya Sound located in Taytay, Palawan.

Malampaya Sound in Palawan is tagged as the "Fish Bowl of the Philippines" due to the abundance of many commercially-important fish species. Because of its physical and biological significance, it was declared a protected landscape and is under administrative jurisdiction of the DENR (Department of Environment & Ntaural Resources)


Palawan Island, under Region 4B (MIMAROPA), is among the top-producing regions of blue swimming crabs in the Philippines. Malampaya accounts to 10% of the total BSC production in the region. At least 6 crab meat processing plants are located in the Sound, all of which are concentrated in the area of Baong or New Guinlo. Fishing is the primary source of livelihood in the area. Other fishery include small shrimps, green mussels, and groupers.


Malampaya Sound is divided into inner and outer sound characterized by shallow brackishwater and deep saltwater, respectively. It is home to the critically-endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins. The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) has surfaced as an ETP that is being affected by the blue swimming crab fishery. This has been reported in several studies conducted in Malampaya Sound from 2002 to 2008 (Dolar et al., 2002; Ingles, 2003; Smith et al., 2004; Gonzales & Matillano, 2008). O. brevirostris is listed as “Critically Endangered” in the IUCN Red List with an estimated population of only 77 and a decreasing population trend (Smith and Beasley, 2004). Gonzales and Matillano (2008) reported a total of 29 deaths from year 2001 to 2006. Gill nets spanning upto 1 km with extended hours of soaking has caused incidental entanglement of dolphins several years back. Fishermen reportedly do this to increase their catch to satisfy their family's daily needs.


According to WWF, fishing is the main source of livelihood for many families in the area. Due to the growing population, competition for food becomes tight.


In the last few years, the communities have become active partners of WWF, DENR, and the local government in ensuring the population of the Irrawaddy dolphins in Malampaya. While these mammals were regarded least in the past, the many years of educational campaigns on the importance of the dolphins have significantly raised awareness in the communities. It has been found that the dolphins help keep the sea bottom healthy by digging up on food which are mostly crustaceans and cephalopods, thereby mixing the soil nutrients into the water. In the Philippines, Irrawaddy dolphins have been spotted in areas where abundance of crustaceans were reported, blue swimming crab and shrimp included.


At present, incidental entrapment of dolphins in Malampaya Sound were no longer reported.






August 24, 2016 - U.S. is set to implement traceability requirements for high-risk fisheries imported from ASEAN countries and other parts of the world beginning October of this year.


The BFAR Regulatory Division conducted a two-day workshop for processors and exporters of various fishery products to the U.S.  last August 24-25, 2016 to come up with goals and activities in line with the new US regulations on seafood market access. Pasteurised crab meat, tuna, and octopus are among the 17 seafood products that will be affected by the new regulation that covers not only the Philippines, but other Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia and Thailand as well as some countries in South America.


Although the pasteurized crab meat was identified, only Callinectes spp. (Atlantic blue crab) will be regulated due to the larger risk of overexploitation. Nevertheless, BFAR sees the urgent implementation of Administrative Circular 251 (Traceability of Fish and Fishery Products) Series of 2014 for all species in anticipation of the expansion of U.S. regulation to other fisheries besides the 17 identified high-risk species.



The activity was participated by over 20 key stakeholders.