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Hatcheries Needed To End Crab Supply Shortages

BRUNEI - Brunei needs to establish crab hatcheries to address the problem of supply shortage and ultimately develop crab culture as an industry, an aquaculture scientist told The Brunei Times earlier this week.

Shortage of crablets (small crabs) has become a common problem in many countries, said Dr Emilia Quinitio, a scientist at the Aquaculture Department at the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (Seafdec).

She suggested how Brunei can overcome the challenge by setting up hatcheries where the seeds could be produced for crab culture farming.

"In Seafdec, we've done studies on the stock assessment for our country (the Philippines), but I do not know the real status here yet in Brunei so I still have to look at that, talk to some people here and visit the crab culture facility," she said, at a seminar on culture of soft shell mud crab and production.

Dr Quinitio also highlighted the importance of resources management, especially for countries where crablets and its many species are still abundant.

"The immediate solution, like in other countries where crablet source is already a major problem, is to establish hatcheries," she told The Brunei Times.

Asked whether the Brunei Bay, which has a 70 per cent mangrove forest cover, was an ideal location place to develop the crab culture industry, Dr Quinitio commented: "Mangrove is the habitat of mud crabs, so it's good (good location)."

According to information stated on a presentation paper on hatchery of mud crabs delivered by the scientist, the aquaculture production of mud crab relies on wild-caught seeds for farming in the Indo-west Pacific region.

However, hatchery-produced crabs have recently been used in the Philippines, Viet Nam and China as source of seedstock.

the Fish Site Editor

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