The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture recently published a joint administrative order (JAO) regarding the conservation and regulation of blue swimming crab.

The order implements policies that provide for better stock health through authoritative action, said Crab Council Chairman Brendan Sweeny, who congratulated regulators.

“PACPI and our member companies have done a great job working towards sustainability, and this order’s penalties give regulators some teeth,” said Sweeny. “In order to cultivate a resource it needs to be protected. By securing Blue Swimming Crab stocks, these policies will strengthen crab council work.”

The order goes into effect Feb. 18 and introduces regulations on minimum catch size, responsible fishing gear, closed crabbing seasons and the protection of berried female crabs.

“The Crab Council has been working towards crab sustainability in the Philippines for the better part of five years,” Bobby Eduardo, treasurer of the Philippine Association of Crab Processors, Inc (PACPI) and a member if the NFI Crab Council executive committee, said. “The government’s order will further bolster our efforts, and we hope to see the active enforcement of these sustainability-minded practices throughout the country.”

The NFI Crab Council was founded in 2009 and funds Blue Swimming Crab sustainability projects through contributions from participating companies and enjoys the generous support of the World Bank and the Walton Family Foundation.