Solon Seeks Probe on Rampant Harvesting of Crablets

A Party-list lawmaker is calling for a congressional inquiry on the reported rampant harvesting and sale of crablets as exotic food delicacy, which has resulted in the alarming decline in the harvest of mature mud crabs.

In filing House Resolution 2587, Rep. Angelo Palmones, (Party-list, AGHAM) said rampant harvesting and sale of crablets hinder the sustainability of mature crabs for food and livelihood.

Palmones cited that a 2009 report from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) that exports of crabs, in its live or processed form, accounts for 5.8 percent of the year's total export value in fisheries produce.

The study, Palmones said shows that crab production is a viable means of livelihood for some of the coastal areas in the country thus; this reported rampant activity of early harvesting for minimal amount will disrupt the flow of income in an area where crab produce is one of its main sources of income.

Palmones said several local government units have issued ordinances banning the harvest of juvenile mud crabs or crablets because these LGUs have noticed the alarming decline of mud crab harvest.

Among the LGUs that issued the ban were the provinces of Catanduanes and Northern Samar where several coastal municipalities and provinces have pointed to the illegal activity of harvesting juvenile mud crabs or even crabs in their megalopa stage, as one of the causes of decline in the harvest of mature mud crabs.

Palmones said given the concern of the local government units and concerned stakeholders, the national government should ban early harvesting of crablets for food or any other means.

"In ensuring food security, there is a need to promote sustainable food sources in the country especially from natural means," Palmones said.

"It is high time that the government formulate a plan together with respective government agencies to have this practice of harvesting crablets stopped to protect the crab production industry and promote the industry's sustainability," the lawmaker added.

Source: House of Representatives

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