November 17, 2016

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Flower crab exports declined by half this year

Photo shows Rakhine State’s flower crabs.
Photo shows Rakhine State’s flower crabs.

Despite the continued high demand for flower crab from Thailand, this year’s export volume of the blue crabs has declined by half compared to the same period last year, exporters say.
“The price of flower crabs produced from Kyaukpru, a major town in Rakhine State, is increasing due to Thailand’s growing demand. However, it is not easy to raise the export volume while the supply exceeds than demand,” one of local exporter said.
The decrease of export volume is directly linked to lower production of flower crabs, which are starting to move down to the deep sea water to breed in the winter, making them harder to catch, fishermen said.
Located on the northwestern corner of Rambre Island on Combermere Bay, Kyaukpru is one of the areas where flower crabs can be found. But over-fishing may have adversely affected the crab population in Kyaukpru.
“The negative impacts on natural environment caused by some fishermen, who use prohibited methods to catch, leads to a decrease in production rate,” said U Khin Aye Maung,chair of the Fish and Shrimp Producers Association for Kyaukpru Township.
Depending on the weather, the exporters get varying volume of crabs from offshore fishing boats. The supply of flower crabs has gradually declined year after year.
There are about 10 wholesale dealers in Kyaukpru who export crabs to Thai market.
According to the exporters, between seven and ten tonnes of flower crabs have been sent to the foreign buyers per week. Last year, they exported 13 to 18 tonnes of crabs per week.

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