By Development Communication Section
SEAFDEC/AQD together with Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV) made history as they organized the very first National Mud Crab Congress from 16 until 18 November 2015 in Iloilo City.
As said by DOST Secretary Engr. Mario Montejo in his keynote speech (read by DOST VI Regional Director Engr. Rowen Gelonga), “The conduct of this congress is a timely intervention as mud crab has been an emerging commodity in domestic and export markets.” He also said that it is about time for our country to take a significant leap in mud crab production – as said by the congress’ theme “Philippines: In the forefront of the mud crab industry development.”
And to start that leap, the congress invited a good combination of resources speakers, from members of the academe, government units and industry players, giving either oral and poster presentations about mud crab biology, genetics and ecology; husbandry; feeds and feeding management; diseases and aquasilviculture. Additional topics were also presented such as post-harvest, value adding and marketing & capacity building ordinances and standards financing. A workshop was also held to know the status, identify the research gaps & training needs in hatchery & nursery and in grow-out & post-harvest of mud crabs.
With over 200 participants coming from various sectors and different parts of the country, the first National Mud Crab Congress was a success. According to DOST-PCAARRD’s Dr. Dalisay Fernandez during her closing remarks, “For the past three days, we gained knowledge on the present state of the mud crab industry and on the significant findings of the mangrove crab [mud crab] projects being implemented by AQD, UPV and other research institutions. We also learned the Philippine National Standards that will serve as guidelines for the exporters and traders and for us [the Philippines] to be [more] competitive with our neighboring countries.” She also mentioned that with these activities, the participants had learned that information sharing of S & T based knowledge and continuous private and public partnership are vital in achieving the development of the mud crab industry in the country.