Authority bans harvesting of crabs after reaching catch limit


THE buying and exporting of mud crabs has been stopped because the total allowable catch for the year has been reached, the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) says.
Acting managing director Noan Parkop in a notice published yesterday informed buyers, licensed exporters, local mud crab collectors and resource owners in the mud crab fishery of the ban.
“All stakeholders are informed that the mud crab fishery is now closed until further notice,” he said.
He said the notice was in accordance with the national mud crab fishery management plan 2019 which said that the buying and exporting of mud crabs would cease when the total allowable catch had been reached.
“Therefore all commercial trade of mud crabs is prohibited until further notice.
“Licensed companies are urged to submit their daily purchase record data to the National Fisheries Authority.”
According to seafood business company Grankle Seafood Marketing PNG Ltd, the closure was a first for the K90 million fishery and thanked the NFA for it.
Logistics and administration manager Gabriel Apita said it was the first time to close the mud crab fishery, which he claimed was being over-harvested by foreigners.
“They are buying from the villagers who bring the crabs to them.
“They are depleting the supply in the wild,” Apita said.
“Although they (NFA) are saying that the total allowable catch has been reached, there is no farming.
“The closure of the mud crab fishery is good, but the NFA needs to put more effort into helping the villagers to farm it in a big commercial way so that they can harvest from the farm and not from the wild.”