First crab ‘bank’ in Trang

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TRANG, Sept 4 – Thailand’s first ‘bank’ for blue swimmer crabs was officially launched in the southern seaboard province of Trang Tuesday with an ambitious goal to have similar crab banks in 10 villages next year.

Trang Governor Thirayuth Iamsa-ard officially opened the Marine Lives Learning Centre inside which a bank for blue swimmer crabs (Portunus pelagicus) and a home for fishes are located.

The learning centre in Kantang district’s Bangsak subdistrict will contribute to marine life conservation, mangrove forest management and conservation of the coastal ecological system.

Under the crab bank scheme, fishermen can “deposit” pregnant blue swimmer crabs with the bank. After a crab lays all the eggs, the fisherman can take the crab to be sold. The eggs are hatched for 3-5 days and released into the sea.

A blue swimmer crab produces more than one million eggs with a survival rate of 500,000-600,000.

Trang has enjoyed a significant population growth of blue swimmer crabs, contributing to a monthly income of Bt5,000-7000 for a fishing family.

The Trang provincial administration plans to set up crab banks in 10 villages in four districts along the Andaman Sea within the coming year and hopes to increase the crab population to 5,000 tonnes a year.