Mud crab is a very important fisheries resource of Bangladesh. Mud Crabs is being added million dollars export income to the export income of Bangladesh in every year. Around 2.5 lakh people across the country are directly involved with the crab industry.
At present, crab farming is completely dependent on nature, but it is not possible to sustain crab farming through the collection of crablet from nature. Due to the scarcity of crablet, many crab farmers are changing their occupations in the coastal areas. The COAST Foundation has come forward to sustain this huge source of livelihood for the people of the coastal areas, for this ‘Promoting Agriculture and Commercialization Enterprise project (PACE) is being implemented in Cox’s Bazar since 2018 with the funding of PKSF and IFAD.
As per the desired goal of the project, the first commercial production of crablet in Bangladesh has started at the hatchery of the project entrepreneur Aungchin, which is one of the milestones and the beginning of a new era for the fisheries sector of Bangladesh. Not only the commercial production of crablet, also the the produced crablet supplied to the various nurserers of Sadar, Chakaria and Teknaf Upazilas of Cox’s Bazar who got training in Crablet Nursing from PACE project.
As a result, there is no longer any dependence on nature for crablet collection, as well as other coastal biodiversity that has been affected during crablet collection. In 2020 total 52000 crablets were produced and were supplied to the different nurserers of the project areas after this due to COVID-19 pandemic crab hatchery activities were postponed. In the 2nd stage from march 2022, total 100,000 eggs are hatched from two gravid mother crabs at 5 days intervals through proper intensive monitoring, maintaining water parameter, ensuring biosecurity and proper feed management of gravid mother crabs in hatcheries and making suitable environment for hatching. After completing zoea-1 to Zoya-5 and Megalopa stage15000 Crablet (Crab Fry) has been produced and another 30,000 crablet is in the process of harvesting.
The produced crab fry has been supplied to crab farmers at various nursing points in Cox’s Bazar district. It is to be noted that COAST Foundation has been started crablet nursing for the first time in Bangladesh. In addition, 2000 Crablets were sent to Shyamnagar in Satkhira through cargo planes for nursing on an experimental basis and 98% of the crablets survived in a healthy and vigorous condition. The crab hatchery is moving ahead with the target of supplying 50 lakh crablet to the nurserers in every season
Barequl Islam Chowdhury.DD-Enterprise Development.COAST Foundation. Dhaka.