Crab sellers lose out

CRAB sellers in the districts of Kubulau, Bua, Navakasiga and Lekutu in Bua continue to get lower prices for their produce.

A value chain analysis carried out by the Wildlife Conservation Society found that though these communities were selling mud crabs regularly, they were still getting lower prices for their crabs compared with other fishers, who sold at bigger markets on Viti Levu.

The analysis also found that in many instances, women were getting lower prices than their male counterparts.

“WCS has since been working with these communities to improve their livelihoods and to encourage them to have a management plan in place to protect critical mangrove habitats they are reliant on and to ensure that their mud crab fishery is sustainable,” the report stated.

“Recently, a team including representatives from the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries and a technician from a local mud crab company, The Crab Company (Fiji), visited four districts to teach mud crab fishers techniques to improve the quality of their mud crabs.

“The workshops were held in Waisa and Navunievu Village.”

WCS conservation officer Margaret Fox, who has been working with these communities, stressed that the mud crab fattening technique was only for crabs caught within the legal size limit as per Fiji’s Fisheries Act which was within a minimum carapace width of 5 inches or 12.5 centimetres.

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