Photos’ credit: Lucka Paschal and Erick Kiiza (Tanzania)
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
Mud crab (Scylla serrata) is a species with good aquaculture potential due to its productive performance as well as its market demand and price. The live mud crabs in particular are always in greater demand and enjoying higher prices.
Mud crabs farming/fattening was introduced into Pangani District in Tanga Region in 2005 under Smallholder Empowerment and Economic Growth through (SEEGAAD) project as a means of empowering coastal communities to improve livelihoods and sustainable marine ecosystem management. The farming of mud crabs is mainly done by artisanal fishermen who use local instruments in catching juvenile crabs soon after they settle at low tides. Because of the high operating costs, this activity has been done in groups, whereby the activities are conducted jointly.
Consultants volunteer from the Philippines helped to establish trials for mud crab cage culture in three villages in Pangani. Through the project, specific training was provided to farmers on crab farming including the selection of appropriate sites as well as cage construction and management especially feeding.
Most often live mud crabs are sold to the tourists hotels around the coast and/or exported to the Far East, while frozen crabs –of smaller size- are exported to Europe.
It worth mentioning, that the high cost of mud crab juveniles and their availability is considered a major obstacle to the sustainability of mud crab fattening.