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Pinpoint crab breeding season to protect industry in Bangladesh February 21,2020   |  Source: The Daily Star

A group of Khulna University scientists yesterday said the government should properly identify the peak breeding season of mud crabs based on scientific evidence, to protect mother crabs and halt the industry's decline. At present, harvesting crabs from the Sundarbans, a prime natural source for catching the crustaceans, is banned in January and February, they said at a roundtable discussion at The Daily Star Centre. However, March-April is the peak breeding season of mud crabs at the location, they said, referring to their study report. Abundance of fully mature mother crabs can be seen from late February to late April. Alongside March and April, February should also be included in peak breeding season to protect mother crabs, they added.

CARE Bangladesh and The Daily Star, with support of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, arranged the roundtable on "Prospect and Challenges of Crab Cultivation: Policy Perspective". In 2017-18 fiscal, Bangladesh exported about 11,000 metric tonnes of crabs and earned around Tk 217 crore in foreign currency. Some three to four lakh people are directly and indirectly involved in the crab industry, from harvest to export, according to the report.

Prof Yousuf Ali of Khulna University's fisheries and marine resource technology

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