Mud crab

Why mudcrab culture?

  • A mangrove-friendly or sustainable aquaculture
  • Mudcrab is well-liked for its taste, texture and nutritive value
  • High demand in the local and export markets
  • Could be polycultured with other species, such as milkfish
  • Could be an investment for people’s cooperatives and fisherfolk organizations
    who manage a mangrove area under a stewardship contract

Inquiry:
AQD mudcrab and shrimp domestication program: Dr. Fe Dolores P. Estepa commodity team leader

Technological Viability List of Technology Adoptors
Hatchery and Nursery 

Healthy mature crabs with complete limbs are chosen as breeders. The crabs are maintained in the tank until they spawn (release of eggs). After hatching of eggs, care is taken to raise the zoea to the megalopa stage in the hatchery. [read more]

Mudcrab Hatchery
•  WESAMAR Multi-species Hatchery, Burabod, Villareal, Western Samar
– AQD provided technical assistance in seed production of mudcrab. The project was in colaboration with WESAMAR, DA- BFAR, local government units of Western Samar, and the European Union (EU).
•  Crab Hatchery, Barangay Dayao, Roxas City, Capiz
•  Initao Hatchery, Misamis Oriental 

Fattening in Cages and Pen Culture in Mangroves
•  Puerto Princesa City Government and the Manalo Multi-Purpose Cooperative Inc, Palawan (1997)
– AQD provided technical assistance through on-site training and skills development.•  KASAMA-CENRO, Buswang, New Washington, Aklan (1999)
– AQD provided technical assistance through on-site training and skills development.
•  Bugtong Bato, Ibajay LGU, Aklan (1999)
•  Tangalan LGU, Aklan (1999)

Brackishwater Pond Culture
•  Jalandoni and Montelibano Farms, EB Magalona, Negros Occidental (1997)
– AQD provided technical assistance through on-site training and skills development.
•  Gargarita Farm, Himamaylan, Negros Occidental (1997)

Fattening in Cages and Pen Culture in Mangroves 

Fattening of crabs are done in cell-type cages or pens, and are touted as mangrove-friendly. Medium-sized crabs may be obtained by trapping or from fishponds. Feeds, usually trash fish, are bought from the local market. [read more]

Brackishwater Pond Culture 

Areas with access to good quality water are ideal sites. The area should ideally have clayey soil and enough layers of mud. To prevent escape of crabs, each pond is fenced by bamboo or nylon net, and above the water line, a plastic sheet covers the bamboo support. [read more]

 

INCO-Culture and Management of Scylla

AQD’s Work on Mudcrab 

Studies on mudcrab at the SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department (AQD) started in 1977, but were soon discontinued to give way to higher priority species. Studies were resumed in 1997 in collaboration with ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research) mainly to develop seed production techniques. A collaborative 4-year project was later funded by the European Union in 2002 for the culture and management of Scylla species. This involved not only SEAFDEC/AQD, but the University of Wales Bangor (U.K.), University of Gent (Belgium), and Can Tho University (Vietnam). The aim was to improve the reliability and economic viability of mud crab hatchery and nursery production for mangrove-pond aquasilviculture production systems and stock enhancement.

Grow-out studies on mudcrab culture went as far back as 1981 when researchers first tried different stocking densities, and recommended 5,000 crabs per ha. Two years later, researchers tried mudcrab polyculture with milkfish with some success. The grow-out culture of mudcrab in monoculture in ponds, mudcrab polyculture with milkfish in ponds, and mudcrab monoculture in tidal flats with existing mangroves were verified in various places in the country. As a result, AQD wrote and produced three extension manuals on its mudcrab grow-out experience in 1999, as well as incorporating mudcrab in its training and extension programs.

In the late 1990s, SEAFDEC began institutionalizing a mangrove-friendly aquaculture program. In 1999, crab fattening trials were conducted in ponds and in cages, the latter adopting a BFAR cage design that was modified by AQD researchers. Soon after, AQD’s extension manuals and training courses began carrying mudcrab culture as a dimension of mangrove-friendly aquaculture or sustainable aquaculture.

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