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Crab Fattening an In as a nature based solution in Mangrove conservation

In RUMAKI Plus seascape youth have been engaging much in the natural-based solution activities, and crab fattening is among them, where Yahaya Pale is living in Pombwe village in Kibiti District. He managed to establish a mud crab farming

“I used to fatten the crab in one cage but i didn't know that crabs have a habit of fighting each other, " my first cage didn't have partitions that separate every crab fattened as the result a lot of crabs died because they were fighting each other but then i was selected to join a training by WWF and my future in crab fattening now looks way better

Yahaya thanks WWF and Pombwe beach management unit for building his capacity to take care of the crablets and fatten them Yahaya recalls started engaging in crab fattening in 2012 when he first did a simple preliminary research to understand the life cycle of these mud crabs where he says "Crabs have a unique way of growing where they shed their shell so that they can grow when you find a crab in this state it is defenseless you can do anything with it whatever you want" 

Furthermore, Yahaya says the reason behind crab fattening is that the value of mud crab in the market comes with grades of weight if a grab has low grams it will be sold at a lower price compared to that crab which has a higher weight, "the same crab that at the moment may be valued in the market one thousand if you are patient and fatten it, it can be sold at five thousand as it increases its weight"

Yahaya as other youths engaging in crab fattening faces challenges related to climate change as during the intense heat it is very hard to get crabs as they usually hide

Dr Ismael Kimirei is the Director General of Tanzania Fisheries and Research Institute (TAFIRI), he puts it clear in a scientific perspective that most of exoskeleton sea species are so much affected by heat and the rise of acidity in the ocean, "the heat makes their bodies weak which affects their growth so instead of them using their body energy for growth they tend to regulate the body from the rise of heat which in return causes them not to grow properly"

According to the Principal conservator from Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFS), Frank Sima domesticating and fattening mud crabs is one of the friendly activities for the mangrove forest where anyone who needs to engage in such activity needs to follow the set  regulations that will allow good control of the mud crab without affecting the coastal environment. 

Sima says "A person who plans to engage in crab fattening must make sure he or she gets guidance from experts like fisheries officer on the kind of friendly cages that supports the lives of the mud crab and which are not made by using mangrove forest cut off trees and it should be built in a shady area that receives tides to make these mud crabs grow according to the market demand” Young people especially are encouraged to undertake this venture as indeed as much as it helps them get more revenue it is completely friendly to the marine environment and its resources”.
© Egno Ndunguru
Crab fattening