Blue Swimming Crabs

Blue Swimming Crabs

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Blue swimming crabs are an important source of income for fishermen in the Malaysia, also known as ‘ketam bunga’ or ‘ketam renjong’ in the name of the local. The high price and increased demands in among community will cause the over-exploitation in production of blue swimming crabs. In 2003, total landings for P. pelagicus were approximately 175,000 tons and decrease to 165,000 tons in 2004 (FAO Fish Stat, 2009). This decline from over-exploitation has an impact in some Asian countries (Ikhwanuddin et al., 2005). In Malaysia, statistics from Department of Fisheries (DOF) shows that the landings of P. pelagicus is 3514 tons in 2007 and increase to 4427 tonnes in 2008 but the landings is decrease in 2009 with 3057 tones. These declines total the crabs fishing at territorial water in Malaysia as an early marker of deficiency will the crabs in the future because of the increasing the catch and the damage of coastal environments, the amount of P. pelagicus is rapidly decreased.
However, P. pelagicus cultured are important from the beginning of the last decade because of high demand for live crabs and crabs products in the export market. Due to their fast growth rates to market size (Josileen and Menon, 2005) and relative ease of hatchery production (Walker, 2006), the aquaculture interest of this species is growing. Blue swimming crabs are of high value and quality, a profitable export markets in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan by Australian producers (Stevens, 1997) Now day, P. pelagicus are cultured for the production of the lucrative soft-shell crab market on recirculation and lined pond systems in Australia (O'Neill, 2003 and Walker, 2006).
Blue Swimming crabs are not only popular in Malaysia but another country a lot of crabs caught along the Coast of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania (Chande and Mgaya, 2004), Bardawil Lagoon of Northern Sinai in Egypt (Abdel Razak et al., 2006), Park Bay and the Gulf of Mannar in India, the West Coast of South Australia in Australia (Dixon et al., 2008) and at Southern Trang Province of Thailand (Sawusdee and Songrak, 2009). An estimate of blue swimming crabs caught in the waters around southern Australia from 2007 to 2008 was 669 tonnes valued at $ 5,740,000 by Knight and Tsolos (2009). Blue swimming crab landings in India increased from 20,000 to 48,380 tons at 30 percent for years 1977 to 2005 (Samuel et al.

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, 2004; Jose, 2006). In addition, the production of P. pelagicus along Bardawil the lagoon has increased from 491.7 tons to 1,321.8 tons in 1995 to 2005 (GAFRD, 2005). China is the dominant producer of P. trituberculatus, reporting over 300,000 tons every year (FAO Fish Stat, 2009).
This country will be lack of supply in the future because they are too dependent on crabs catch in the ocean and most of the size of the crabs caught is not controlled by the government of Malaysia, crab fishing without a strict control will destroy the habitat and coastal environment, the number of crabs decreased rapidly. To prevent food shortages in the future particularly blue swimming crabs, aquaculture sector must play an important role in reducing the production of crabs through crabs fishing in the ocean. Therefore, the government should encourage the aquaculture sector for develop seed production techniques in breeding crabs that do not depend on the nature of seed crabs. Aquaculture sector has the opportunity to earn income through crabs farming because there was no aquaculture production reported in Malaysia (Ikhwanuddin et al., 2005).
Consequently, the crabs farming in Malaysia is still the beginning stage. For development, commercial seed production technology should be reviewed to increase survival rate, durability, quality and efficiency for use in the aquaculture industry. A lot of research must be done to get more information such as on water quality, phytoplankton and food organisms (Brick 1974), use of recirculation system (Heasman and Fielder 1983), amount and different diet combinations Proceedings of the International Forum on the Culture of Portunid Crabs 162 (Baylon and Failaman 1999; Quinitio et al. 1999; Williams et al. 1999; Zeng and Li 1999), and salinity tolerance (Parado-Estepa and Quinitio 1999) have been conducted but only on a small-scale. Many countries like Japan, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Australia and USA are actively involved in crab culture and research (Soundarapandian et al., 2007). Based on the previous research, most of these studies focused on fecundity, embryology, survival rate, grow development of crab larvae in order to increase crab seed production (Arshad et al., 2006). Castine et al. (2008) reported that current seed production for Portunid decapods is inconsistent because of the lack of biology information necessary for the development of techniques suitable grow-out, the industry is still in the development stage. A lot of information on culture techniques is still required to develop a suitable seed production practices.
For the development of culture industries crabs, the important thing, especially in seed production is food intake because it is the most basic in larvae culture. No further studies on food intake, especially blue swimming crab larvae in Malaysia. Most of the private and government aquaculture sectors using fish larvae feeding schedule for feeding crab larvae. Hence, to improve culture techniques crab larvae, the study of food intake of larvae is important to find the optimum diet. Thus, studies to ingestion of the crab must be conducted for the benefit of all parties, particularly the aquaculture industry. The developments of feeding regimes are emphasized to provide sufficient nutrition to crab larvae as well as to stimulate the growth stage of crab larvae. Commonly, Artemia and rotifer was chose as appropriate live feed for fish and crustacean during early stages of larvae due to its particle size, digestibility, easy to prepare, buoyancy and can be cultured in mass production whether indoor or outdoor systems. A requirement of both live feed during initial larval stages a very important but food preparation must to be considered prior to feed for crustacean and fish larval.

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