The Blue Swimming Crab (Portunus pelagicus) Fisheries in the Visayan Sea, Philippines: A Review of Assessment Information and Analysis Options

The Blue Swimming Crab (Portunus pelagicus) Fisheries in the Visayan Sea, Philippines: A Review of Assessment Information and Analysis Options

May 18, 2020

This report presents the results of the review and evaluation of Blue Swimming Crab (BSC) data collected in Regions 5, 6, and 7 by the Philippines' National Stock Assessment Program. Said regions are where the country's main BSC fishing grounds are located. It presents an overview of viable analysis options for these regions (traditional or conventional stock assessment, but also relatively new and potentially useful analytic approaches) and determines new reference points for the fishery. Results indicate strong evidence that the BSC stock in the Visayan Sea is highly overfished. Some of the assessment models used indicate the need for reduction in fishing effort by about half, or 49%, from the 2018 level, and an increase in length at first capture to 11.5 cm from the current 9.75 cm captured by bottom-set gillnets and crab pots/traps (the dominant gears exploiting BSC in the Visayan Sea).

This report was developed by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI). It was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), through the Global Sustainable Supply Chains for Marine Commodities (GMC) project, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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