The sector had been limited by Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 264, which prevented them from catching, transporting, trading and selling juvenile wild-caught mangrove crab.
However, in a bid to spark economic recovery in the fisheries sector, which has been hit hard by a Covid-related downturn, the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) partially suspended the order this week.
Section 3 (a) of the FAO 264 prohibits the catching, possession, transport, trade, and selling of mangrove crablets and crab juvenile from the wild that are less than 12 cm in carapace width.
With the suspension of this section, BFAR said that "crab breeders, traders, and growers can now catch, transport, trade, and sell juvenile mangrove crab and mangrove crablets caught from the wild that are less than five cm wide in shell, provided that these crabs are used only for aquaculture," reports the Manila Bulletin.
"[We] ensure the continuous provision of measures to manage and sustainably conserve not only mangrove crabs but also all fisheries and aquatic resources, taking into consideration the livelihoods of the Filipino fisheries stakeholders, especially the fisherfolk," the Manila Bulletin reports DA-BFAR as saying this week.
The agency explained that the clause will be reinstated upon the withdrawal of the State of Public Health Emergency, or after a year – whichever comes first.