July 21, 2017 – Concurrent BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona called on the Technical Working Group (TWG) for Blue Swimming Crab (BSC) to review commitments and deliverables since its creation in 2015 last Friday, July 21, 2017 in MO2 Westown Hotel, Iloilo City. This was the group’s fourth meeting.

Following the challenges associated with the proper implementation of the Joint Administrative Order no. 1 s. 2014, the TWG was formed in 2015 to provide venue for stakeholder representation, discussion and action planning. At the hype of Philippine elections in 2016, the group was unable to follow through with the plans and activities set earlier on the same year. Under his new leadership, Dir. Eduardo Gongona wants the BSC TWG revamped. He challenged the group to be time-critical and to fast track activities that will ensure sustainability of the fishery. A market-oriented Kasag Roadmap shall be one of the committee’s outputs and shall include socio-economic assessment of the industry. Moreover, he urged to look into the possibilities of establishing special management zones such closed season and/or closed areas.

During the dialogue, implementation of Administrative Circular 251 on the traceability of fish and fish products was brought up in lieu of the recent application for export to EU, a first attempt for a Philippine crab meat exporter. The EU is known for its strict market requirements for imported products from Asia in response to the global problem of IUUF and seafood fraud.

The good chief has also expressed support to the undertakings of the group.

The group is set to meet again on October 5 and will be spearheaded by the committee’s new chairman BFAR Regional Office VI – Director Remia Aparri.