BACOLOD CITY – The municipality of E.B. Magalona, considered the “Blue Crab Capital of Negros Occidental,” has issued a reminder against harvesting undersized and gravid blue swimming crabs for the protection and conservation of these marine species.
Mayor Marvin Malacon said on Tuesday he has asked village officials and officers of fisherfolk associations to strengthen the information campaign on the local regulation regarding crab catching.
“We are concerned of the recent apprehensions of fishermen catching undersized and gravid crabs,” he added.
Malacon, chairman of the Negros Occidental Third District Coastal Resources Management and Development Council, on Monday met with stakeholders from the town’s nine coastal barangays as well as several crab buyers to remind them of the protection and regulation of catching blue swimming crabs as provided in Municipal Ordinance No. 29, series of 2019.
The coastal villages include Tomongtong, Latasan, Tuburan, Gahit, Madalag, Batea, Manta-angan, Alicante and Pasil.
Bobby Paran, chair of the Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council, said the local regulation penalizes catching of undersized and gravid crabs.
Undersized crabs refer to those measuring less than 4 inches while gravid crabs are considered pregnant or carrying eggs in clusters on their bellies.
Among the penalties are confiscation of crab catch; confiscation of fishing gear and paraphernalia; and fine depending on the degree of violation as stipulated in the municipal ordinance.
The ordinance, titled “E. B. Magalona Blue Crab and Bird Sanctuaries, and Mangrove Reserve-Local Conservation Area,” states that the municipality “shall ensure the equitable and wise use of the coastal resources, reserve preferential use of these resources for its fisherfolk, and promote their active participation in its management”.
Malacon has also proposed the establishment of a multi-species marine hatchery in the municipality to ensure the sustainability and growth of its aquaculture products.
Aside from blue crabs, the species will include bangus (milkfish), bulgan (Asian sea bass), inid (grouper), hito (catfish), talaba (oyster), and mud crab. (PNA)