Philippines sets new crab conservation rules

The Philippines' Department of Agriculture has implemented new rules regarding conservation of blue swimming crab, becoming the first nation in Southeast Asia to do so.

The department issued the rules in a joint administrative order, which contains policies governing the capture and preservation of the crab.

"The (American National Fisheries Institute) Crab Council has been working toward crab sustainability in the Philippines for the better part of five years," said Bobby Eduardo, treasurer of the Philippine Association of Crab Processors (PACPI) and a member of the crab council's executive committee. "The government's order will further bolster our efforts, and we hope to see the active enforcement of these sustainability-minded practices throughout the country."

The order goes into effect February 18th and introduces regulations on minimum catch size, responsible fishing gear, closed crabbing seasons and the protection of berried female crabs.

"PACPI and our member companies have done a great job working towards sustainability and this order's penalties give regulators some teeth," said Brendan Sweeny, the crab council's chairman. "In order to cultivate a resource it needs to be protected. By securing blue swimming crab stocks these policies will strengthen crab council work."

The NFI Crab Council was founded in 2009 and funds blue swimming crab sustainability projects through contributions from participating companies and enjoys the generous support of the World Bank and the Walton Family Foundation.

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