With prices almost doubling since 2014, the Mud Crab has become one of the fastest growing fishery commodities in Fiji. Mud crabs are primarily gleaned fisherwomen, who skillfully scoop out the crabs from the silt and mud between the mangroves.
However, over harvesting though has led to declining stocks and an increase in sale of undersized mud crabs. As a result this fishery appears to be at a tipping point, and without intervention we anticipate this species may become locally extinct in many parts of the country. This presents management challenges and its proper management is essential for the sustainability of this fishery.
It is in this regard that the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area and Women in Fisheries Network-Fiji coordinated a workshop in the Tavua district on the 1st and 2nd of June 2017.
The main objectives of the workshop were:
It was through the History profile exercise that participants were able to see the changes that have affected their fishing grounds therefore very effective in putting together a Management Plan for their respective villages.
In connecting women to potential stakeholders that can assist them to venture into other economic livelihood, we invited the Department of Cooperatives Business, Bank of South Pacific and Vodafone ATH to make the participants aware of services and facilities that they can tap into. It is therefore important for participants to know what is practical and real for them before venturing into other sources of livelihood.
A total number of 48 females and 14 males attended the workshop.