CARE Bangladesh’ SDC- SHOMOSTI organised a roundtable discussion on prospect and challenges of crab cultivation in Dhaka on 19 February.

A number of recommendations were made during the discussion, says a press release.

Representatives of the department of forests, fisheries, private sector including hatchery association and NGOs took part and made recommendations on crab farming.

Fisheries and Marine Resources Technology (FMRT) under Khulna University shared findings of a research conducted on crab.

SDC-SHOMOSHTI is currently reaching out to 180,000 rural households (comprising poor, disadvantaged, and women) with improved technical services, which will result in higher yields, better prices and increased income.

This will be achieved through the application of interventions where investments, new and more inclusive business models will be stimulated from the national level to private sector to create sustainable solutions to underlying causes of market failure.

At the beginning of discussion session, Muhammad Abdur Rouf and Golam Sarower from the fisheries and marine resource technology (FMRT) discipline of Khulna University shared key findings on the research on mud crab (Scylla olivacea). Research revealed that the peak breeding season for the mud crab is March-April.

At present, there is a ban on the collection of crablet from January to February, which needs to be adjusted in line with the findings of the research. Findings also demonstrated that the hatchery-produced crablets are as good as the wild crablets. In some cases, hatchery-produced crablets demonstrated better result than the wild ones.

Sohel Ibn Ali, senior programme manager, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) emphasised on supporting crab hatcheries and above all the sector. Crab sector falls under high potential sector in-terms of economic return in comparison to other sub-sectors, he added.

Jahidul Kabir, conservator of forests and project director of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park project recommended more research on crab farming and encouraged efforts similar to hilsa conservation. Proposed revision of current ban period has already been sent to the ministry, he informed the participants.

Bashirul-Al-Mamun, divisional forest officer, Sundarbans West Forest Division suggested stock assessment for crab. He also suggested monitoring of mud crab stock on a regular basis as well to ensure preservation of crab.

In order to reduce dependency on Sundarbans, hatchery development and cultivation framework are instrumental, added Bashirul-Al-Mamun.