June 26, 2012 Washington, DC – The final version of a Philippine Blue Swimming Crab Management Plan has been agreed upon. After nine versions, a coalition of stakeholders in the crab fishery is submitting a well vetted sustainability plan to National Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council (NFARMC) for final endorsement, slated for late summer 2012.
“The plan is robust and includes an increase in minimum catch size,” said Philippine Association for Crab Processors, Inc. (PACPI) chair Bobby Eduardo, also the President of RGE. “As part of the plan PACPI will continue to observe a minimum size of 3.5 inches, which will be increased to 4 inches by January 2013.”
The Blue Swimming Crab stakeholders, who worked on the plan, also agreed that a site-specific closed season should be implemented, provided the scientific data covering a two year period supports the closure.
“If the plan is endorsed by NFARMC, the Philippines blue swimming crab fishery will boast one of the most advanced Fishery Improvement Plans in South East Asia,” said Howard Johnson, Director of Global Programs for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.
“We are pleased to see our partners in the Philippines taking this major positive step to manage their Blue Swimming Crab fishery,” said NFI Crab Council Chairman Ed Rhodes of Phillips Foods. “Collaboration is an essential component of a sustainable fishery and this plan is one that stakeholders from all sides have worked on. We see it as a model of how public, government, private and NGO efforts can work together to improve fisheries and move them along the road to sustainability.”