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    • Conference paper

      Enhancing mud crab population through mangrove restoration 

      MJH Lebata-Ramos, EF Doyola-Solis, RC Sibonga, JB Biñas, M Walton & L Le Vay - In ET Quinitio, FD Parado-Estepa & RM Coloso (Eds.), Philippines : In the forefront of the mud crab industry development : proceedings of the 1st National Mud Crab Congress, 16-18 November 2015, Iloilo City, Philippines, 2017 - Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center
      Mangroves are known as important nurseries for different species of fish and shellfish. In the Philippines, mud crabs Scylla spp. are among the most valuable crustaceans harvested from the mangroves and are considered a delicacy. However, varying levels of overfishing have been reported in different parts of the country. The decrease in production may be due to increasing demand for the resource and the loss of mangrove habitat. This problem may be addressed through regulation of fishing effort, rehabilitation of habitats, mangrove-friendly aquaculture and enhancement of wild crab stocks. This study shows the effect of mangrove rehabilitation on mud crab population.

      From July 2010 to December 2011, a total of 2.166 tons of mud crabs (n=17,558) have been collected from a 66.5 ha abandoned pond that has been recolonized by mangroves. The catch was dominated by S. olivacea (79.96%), then S. tranquebarica (19.92%) and S. serrata (0.12%). Male to female ratio was at 1.09:1. Individual daily yield ranged from 0.06 to 8.4 kg while catch per unit effort in terms of quantity and biomass ranged 0.02-1.46 crab gear-1 day-1 and 1.1-213.54 g gear-1 day-1, respectively. The results showed that mud crab population in this study site was much higher than the population in the reforested (Walton et al., 2006, 2007) and natural mangroves (Lebata et al., 2007) with almost the same area. For 18 months of sampling (April 2002-September 2003), only 3,924 crabs were sampled in the natural mangroves while 10,504 in the reforested mangroves. Mud crab production in the present study site resulted in a yield of 21 kg ha-1 yr-1, 5 and 3 times higher than the yield reported in the natural and reforested mangrove areas, respectively. These results imply that habitat restoration can be very effective in restoring natural populations of mud crab.
    • Conference paper

      Mangroves as mud crab habitats 

      JH Primavera - In ET Quinitio, FD Parado-Estepa & RM Coloso (Eds.), Philippines : In the forefront of the mud crab industry development : proceedings of the 1st National Mud Crab Congress, 16-18 November 2015, Iloilo City, Philippines, 2017 - Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center
      The paper reports the use of mangroves by Scylla species both as wild and culture habitats. Based on published literature, natural mangrove crab populations are described in terms of population density, dispersal and movement within and outside mangroves, crab burrows and associated mangrove species. Strategies for Scylla conservation depend on the kind of mangrove habitat - (mangrove) restoration for open fringing mangroves where crab recruitment and abundance are determined by habitat availability vs stock enhancement in closed basin mangroves with restricted recruitment and limited movement of crabs.

      Mangrove crabs are also reared in monoculture in mangrove cages and pens, or in polyculture with milkfish in extensive ponds (where mangroves used to thrive). The paper describes a SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department study to evaluate the effects of mud crab net pen systems on mangrove macroflora, and the replacement of dietary trash fish with low-cost pellets. Results showed that incomplete, low-cost pellets can replace fish biomass requirement in mud crab diets, but that crab presence resulted in fewer mangrove seedlings and saplings. Economic analysis showed the viability of crab culture in mangrove pens using a combination of fish biomass and pellets to reduce the requirement for (low-value) fish, which is a food item of poor coastal communities.