Blue Alliance Philippines Mudcrab Aquaculture Project

Sustainable aquaculture in action in Oriental Mindoro, Philippines

Providing sustainable livelihoods and protecting ecosystems through a collaborative approach to aquaculture in Marine Protected Areas in Mindoro, Philippines.

Mud crabs (Scylla serrata) are a keystone species in Oriental Mindoro, where they contribute to the mangrove forest ecosystem through their impact on sediments, and are preyed upon by fish species. They’re also considered a delicacy both locally and overseas, which has led to over-exploitation. Coastal communities face losing a vital source of income as crab populations fall, and this in turn can lead to a degradation of mangrove forests.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) offer a lifeline to both vulnerable species like the mud crab, and the communities that depend upon them. In Oriental Mindoro the management of MPAs and mangroves has been shared with Local Government Units and communities since 2020. In keeping with our collaborative approach to conservation management, we have partnered with Blueyou, an international aquaculture company, to establish a hatchery as the first step towards establishing a fully integrated, sustainable aquaculture value chain.

The hatchery will provide  juvenile crabs (crablets) using only natural food. This will support the restoration and conservation of vital mangrove habitats, as measured against international standards.

Local households and fishpond owners will then grow out the crablets, while the planting of mangroves around ponds will replicate the natural environment and enhance productivity.

With the proper management, mud crab farming can provide additional income to farmers and contribute to the sustainable economic upliftment of communities through enhanced fishpond profitability and a positive impact on participating households.

Documentation and traceability of aquaculture crabs will make it harder for wild-caught crabs to be passed off as farmed crabs, further reducing the incentives for harvesting wild populations.

The success of the Oriental Mindoro aquaculture project will be measured against Key Performances Indicators that are fully aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 8, 13 and 14 (that is, No Poverty, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Climate Action and Life Below Water).

It’s a great example of sustainable innovation that works for people and the planet.