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EBM fisherfolk warned against harvesting undersized crabs

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Mayor Marvin Malacon yesterday warned EB Magalona fisherfolk of penalties, should they be arrested for catching either undersized or gravid blue swimming crabs.

Undersized crabs are those measuring less than 4 inches, while gravid crabs are considered pregnant or carrying eggs in cluster on their bellies, according to Bobby Paran, chair of the Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (MFARMC).

The protection of and regulation in catching blue swimming crabs in the Municipality of E. B. Magalona is provided for in Municipal Ordinance No. 29 series of 2019.

Called the “E. B. Magalona Blue Crab and Bird Sanctuaries, and Mangrove Reserve – Local Conservation Area,” the ordinance states that the Municipality shall ensure the equitable and wise use of the coastal resources, reserve preferential use of these resources for its fisherfolks, and promote their active participation in its management.”

Malacon yesterday called for an urgent meeting with punong barangays and officers of fisherfolks associations of nine coastal barangays in the town, after learning of recent apprehensions of fishermen catching undersized and gravid crabs.

Among the penalties for catching undersized and gravid crabs are confiscation of crab catch, confiscation of fishing gears and paraphernalia, and payment of fine depending on the degree of violation as stipulated in the municipal ordinance, Paran added.

Malacon requested the punong barangays and officers of barangay fisherfolk associations to conduct information drives in their respective barangays on the regulation on catching crabs in the municipality.

Attending the meeting were officials of nine coastal barangays: Tomongtong, Latasan, Tuburan, Gahit, Madalag, Batea, Manta-angan, Alicante (Sitio Buyog), and Pasil, and several crab-buyers.

Malacon was also joined Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO) head Engr. Erwin Poniado, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO)-designate Jojo Vargas, Paran, and personnel of the Municipal Agriculture Office.

EB Magalona is known for its blue crabs.*

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