Skip to main content

SEAFDEC Opens Gates to Mud Crab Domestication

TIGBAUAN, Iloilo – The complete life cycle of the mud crab is now documented, opening the gates for its domestication.

That’s big time: next to China, the Philippines is the world’s second largest mud crab producer; it harvested 14,437 metric tons of mud crabs from aquaculture in 2010.

“The study on the domestication of mud crab is the first ever reported in the Indo-west Pacific region,” said Dr. Emilia T. Quinitio, Scientist and Head of the Technology Verification and Demonstration Division of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center’s Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD). “The initial results would serve as guide to understand and eliminate the barriers to mud crab domestication.”

“The breeding technology will support the production of good-quality seedstock for farming and eventually lessen the dependence on wild stock,” she said in an interview.

“Genetic selection for desirable traits focusing on fast growth and better reproductive performance will be done while maintaining the healthy status of the stock and genetic diversity in succeeding generations,” Quinitio told Malaya Business Insight.

For her research on the domestication of the mud crab (Scyllla serrata), Dr. Quinitio received the 2011 Department of Science and Technology-Elvira O. Tan Memorial Award for Best Published Paper in Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries.

SEAFDEC/AQD has actually closed the life cycle of three of the country’s mud crabs: S. serrata, S. tranquebarica and S. olivacea.

The S. serrata – or the mud crab locally known as alimango, bulik, banhawan and kinis – is now a good candidate for domestication. This is because its life cycle can be completed within a year and its seed production in the hatchery and nursery has reached the commercial level.

S. serrata is the preferred species for farming by crab growers because it is larger and less aggressive than the other two species. It is sourced from the estuaries along the country’s Pacific Ocean side: Cagayan, Catanduanes and other parts of Bicol, Samar and Surigao.

The most widely distributed species in the Indo-west Pacific region, S. serrata is found in estuaries and sheltered coasts and in soft muddy bottoms where it digs deep burrows.

Courtship and mating occur in estuaries, then the mature S. serrata migrates up to 50 kilometers offshore to spawn (the three other species prefer less saline water). It may spawn any time in a year, producing from 1 million to 6 million eggs in a single spawning.

A crab muolts several times before it matures fully. A male grows up to 3 kilograms; a female has dark orange ovaries that fill the cavity under the carapace and which is much valued in Philippine cuisine.

“Although the technology for the hatchery, nursery and grow-out has been developed, there remains a need to integrate all stages of production to develop a complete and reliable technology that can be used for the production of quality broodstock and seedstock” Quinitio said.

Successful implementation of the breeding program requires a network of facilities. Broodstock for hatcheries, for example, are currently sourced from crab trading centers or directly from commercial ponds.

S. serrata produces an average of 2 million larvae per hatching. A survival rate of 3 percent translates to 60,000 crab instar (<1 centimeters). Several hatchery runs can be undertaken in a year. Due to the cannibalistic behavior of crabs, much space is required for the nursery and grow-out phase.

Mud crabs from the wild are mostly depleted because they are overharvested even when they are smaller than 3 centimeters, Quinitio said.

Several municipalities in major collection sites have issued ordinances banning the collection and transport of crablets less than 3 cm in size. In recent years, overexploitation and habitat degradation have reduced the quantity and the mean size of crabs caught. The key is to conserve what remains of crabs in the wild.

“Conservation of the natural population of crabs is thus essential to sustain the industry,” Quinitio said. “Another solution is to source the crablets from the hatcheries using SEAFDEC technology.”

With only slight modifications, shrimp hatcheries can be utilized for rearing mud crabs.

To increase the availability of seedstocks for farming, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has approved a joint proposal of SEAFDEC/AQD and the University of the Philippines Visayas for a national mud crab science and technology program.

The goal is to establish mud crab hatcheries and nurseries and maintain or improve the country’s status as the world’s second largest producer of mud crabs.

“Mud crab R&D will be a major activity for AQD especially that it is the lead agency for the DOST’s National Mud Crab R&D Program starting this year,” said Dr. Felix Ayson, head of SEAFDEC AQD.

“Our mud crab activity will also be in support of the national program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on mangrove rehabilitation. In this particular program, mud crab is one of the commodities that they plan to introduce in the mangrove areas. As such, we should be ready with the appropriate technologies for mud crabs.”

Source: Malaya

Popular posts from this blog

Catanduanes Forest in German-Funded DENR Project

The Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve (CWFR) is among the 60 protected areas around the country that are covered by a German-funded environmental project aimed at improving the management of the Philippines’ natural resources. CENRO officer-in-charge Luvimindo Chioco recently told the Tribune that the Protected Area Management Enhancement (PAME) project is being implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), under a grant from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The funding was coursed through the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The P450 million (€9 million) project is being carried out nationwide until March 2017 to ensure proper management of 60 existing protected areas by improving the technical competencies and capacities of staff of the DENR’s Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau. The PAME project will also see the establishment of at least 100 new terrestrial and mari…

Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve

Site description: Catanduanes is an island of 182,300 ha which lies about 10 km off the tip of the Caramoan Peninsula in southern Luzon. The terrain on the island is hilly, particularly in the central portion, but the highest point only reaches just over 800 m. The substantial forests which remain in central Catanduanes are therefore all lowland dipterocarp in type, and are the largest remaining forest block in the whole of the Bicol Region. Forest is found above 490 m, and is estimated to cover a total of about 69,770 ha. It includes considerable areas of old growth dipterocarp forest (reported in 1997 to cover 5,876 ha), and closed-canopy forest in areas that show evidence of having been logged. These forest areas are the source of water for Catanduanes Province. One hydropower project is currently operational, that supplies power to urban areas of the island. The forest areas was proclaimed as a Watershed Reserve in 1987 because of these important function, the whole area is sta…

Philippine Mining Act of 1995

With the recent issue of magnetite ore mining overwhemingly opposed by residents in the town of Bagamanoc and recently moved the mining site off the coast of Panganiban (Payo), I am compelled to post this Mining Act to serve as reference. "Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (“Act”) is the governing law that regulates mineral resources development in the country. One of the primary objectives of this act is to revitalize the ailing Philippine mining industry by providing fiscal reforms and incentives and maintaining a viable inventory of mineral reserves to sustain the industry through the infusion of fresh capital through direct investments to finance mineral exploration and/or development activities. The original implementing rules and regulations of the Act was prepared in 1995, and was revised in 1996 under DENR Administrative Order 96 – 40, the revised implementing rules and regulations (RIRR). Collectively, the Act and its RIRR take into considerat…

Pantomina Lyrics And Music

Pantomina is Spanish for pantomime, movements imitating the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen.
Ang mga babaye
Kung mayo pa nin agom
Maugay nin aga maugay nin hapon
Alagad kung sinda igua na nin agom
Maugay Octobre, Disyembreng sunudon.

Ica palan, Nenang ang pinagsasabi
Magayon na burac sa lugar na ini
Magayon ang tindog malinig ang pisngi
Arin pa daw ang puso ang dai mawili.

Can ica sadit pa sadit pa man aco
Si satuyang cawat magkudot-kudotan
Kinudot mo aco kinudot ta ca man
Sabi mo sa saco luhayluhaya man.

Ang mga lalake
Hudyan sisaboot
Ang pinagsasabing ngarang pagcamoot
Kundi ang babayeng iyo minahilod
Akong minahiling can mga pangguyod.

Japanese Retirement Village in the Philippines

The Philippines is being eyed as a prime medical, health care and retirement destination for Japanese. According to studies, one out of four people in Japan will be aged 65 by 2020, from one out of six in 2000. Now is the best time to set up the retirement village for Japanese as baby boomers will start retiring in 2007. Several notable Japanese companies have already initiated building medical and retirement havens in the Philippines. These include Sanyo Emeritus Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Sanyo Electric and Emeritus Corp. of Seattle, which provides "assisted living" services in the US and Canada; as well as Tokushukai Medical Corp., Japan's largest hospital chain, which is putting up a $100 million, 1000-bed hospital in the Philippines, targeting elderly Japanese citizens. The Philippines is highly regarded because of its mild climate enjoyed by Japanese, its close proximity to Japan, the high quality of the Philippines' healthcare workforce, and the sign…