Save Samar’s blue swimming crab pushed
The Center for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Research and Development (CFARRD) of Samar State University (SSU) spearheaded a campaign to save blue swimming crab of Samar. The campaign which is also supported by NGA, NGO’s, PO’s, LGUs and PLGU of Samar was launched last February 19, 2017, which was attended by about 560 participants. The campaign which is a Research and Extension program of CFAARD is a precautionary approach in saving the “karawasan” (Portunus pelagicus, Linnaeus, 1758) for sustainable development.
Director Racuyal of CFAARD in his speech said that the program should be implemented in selected communities of Samar specifically in the municipalities of Daram, Zumarraga, Talarora, Tarangnan, Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, Hinabangan, Calbiga, San Sebastian, Villareal and Catbalogan City which are adjacent to the major fishing grounds of Maqueda Bay, Villareal Bay, Zumarraga Channel and southeastern part of Samar Sea. Projects include: assessment of the blue swimming crab stock, reproductive biology and ecology, compliance and enforcement of fishery laws, soci-economics, institutional/governance, post-harvest practices, supply and value chain analysis, hatchery technology and grow-out, which are of great significant contribution in policy formulation by the law-making body (Sanguniang Bayan) for fishery resource management, conservation and proper exploitation.
The program was conceptualized with anchorage to data from Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and the investigation conducted by the University. Data have shown that the supply of blue swimming crab in Samar dropped significantly from 5,817 metric tons of crabs in 2005 to only 1,650 metric tons in 2015 or about 71.6% in 10 years. The blue swimming crab is one of Samar’s biggest import, and Eastern Visayas is the second biggest regional crab producer contributing 21.46% total production according to BAS. Racuyal said that saving the crabs also means saving the sea. Efforts to restore the ecological balance for the crabs population to recover also means saving other marine resources. The greatest challenge, however, is the funding to finance the projects mentioned. Director Racuyal is very optimistic that the partner agencies whose representatives were present expressed willingness to support many of its programs. In the launching program was Region 8’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional (BFAR) Director who expresses full support to the initiative and informed everyone that BFAR has a national program similar to CFAARD initiative. Board Member Arcales representing Governor Tan also assured those in attendance that it will also support the program.
Dr. Marilyn D. Cardoso, the President of the SSU has expressed her gladness for the overwhelming support which have been shown to the program. This program is part of the dream of the university to improve the social conditions of the Philippines particularly Samar. The Vice President for Planning Research and Extension also expressed his gladness specifically to hundreds of fisherfolks for coming and requested there support for the program. There are succeeding activities which SSU through its CFARRD office will undertake and the support of the crab-fishers and the partner agencies are badly needed to realize the program goals, that is to reverse the trend.