February 22, 2016 – USAID-ECOFISH, PACPI and BFAR organized a partner’s meeting to update status of gear swap, present the results of the Value Chain Analysis of BSC in Danajon Bank, conduct IEC on the Joint Administrative Order on the Blue Swimming Crab, as well as distribute 17 units of crab holding cages as part of PACPI’s ongoing initiatives.

An estimated 10,000 units of crab pots are expected to be completed this coming April 2016. Earlier, BFAR has committed to provide crab pots to support eradication of lift nets in the province, following the findings that lift nets catch 90% juvenile crabs. However, as elections loom in May 2016, efforts will be focused on information campaigns around sustainable management of BSC in line with the ongoing IEC campaigns conducted in various provinces.

ECOFISH presented the results of the value chain study to provide information on the current economic position of blue crabs in the Danajon Reef. Among the key discussions are the declining stocks, profit margins of traders and wet market vendors and increased competition amongst crab catchers, thereby needing better management of resources at the level of crabbers and local government units. 

PACPI spearheaded IEC on BSC and discussed the definitive rules and regulation on minimum carapace width, management of gravid crabs, and the corresponding fines and penalties for offenders. ECOFISH then facilitated a forum to give more technical understanding on the implications of the JAO from the perspective of the crab catchers and the LGUs. A long discussion ensued on the issuance of auxillary invoices from the LGUs on transporting blue crabs. 

Finally, 17 units of crab holding cages were turned over to the local government units. Prior to the ceremony, orientation on handling of berried crabs, cage site selection, and management and monitoring of cages were conducted. A personnel from RGE performed brief demonstration of cage installation at a nearby coastal baranggay.