Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Mangrove Crab Industry Profile

Mangrove crab, locally known as alimango, is the Philippines’ 6th most cultured species in terms of aquaculture production in 2020. Moreover, the Philippines remains to be one of the top producers of mangrove crab in the world. In 2020, PSA reported the Philippines’ total mangrove crab production at 20,766.25 MT. Northern Mindanao is the leading region with 7,759.36 MT, of which 6,812.38 MT came from the province of Lanao del Norte. Other notable provinces, with over 4,000 MT mangrove crab production each are Pampanga and Quezon. The three known species of mangrove crab in the Philippines are Scylla serrata, S. tranquebarica, and S. olivacea. They are distinguished by color patterns, relative size, spines, chromosome form, gamete development, and preferred habitats. In 2021, the average price of mangrove crab is Php 395.94 per kilogram.

The Philippine mangrove crab production  is undertaken using polyculture systems in 30% of brackishwater fishponds in the country. The industry is estimated to require 36-45 million crablets annually, which currently is sourced out from the wild.

Problems in the Industry

The Philippines has been a pioneer in developing the basic technology for mangrove crab hatchery. However, the supply of broodstock is still inadequate for hatchery production  which results to inadequate supply of crablets/juveniles for grow-out culture. Thus, mangrove crab production is still dependent on the supply of wild-caught crablets. 

The commercialization of the hatchery technology is constrained by the high production cost, low survival in nurseries due to cannibalism and diseases, lack of low-cost and practical artificial diets and use of banned and unregulated drugs for disease control.

ISP for Mangrove Crab

The ISP for mangrove crab aims to refine existing protocols for mangrove crab hatchery, nursery and grow-out, and to demonstrate feasibility and viability of commercial mangrove crab hatcheries. The target outcomes are increased survival rate in hatchery, nursery, and grow-out, and to establish a sustainable mangrove crab production.

Strategic R&D

Strategic R&D is DOST-PCAARRD’s banner program comprising all R&D activities that are intended to
generate outputs geared towards maximum economic and social benefits


Products, equipment, and protocols or process innovations developed to improve productivity, efficiency,
quality, and profitability in the agriculture and aquatic industries, and to achieve sustainable
utilization and management of natural resources

Mangrove Crab Hatchery

A project on Improvement of larval rearing hatchery under the program Refinement of Mud Crab Hatchery Technology was implemented to address the issues such as the high investment and cost...

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Crabifier Application

Of the three mangrove crab species in the Philippines, Scylla serrata, or the giant mangrove crab, is capable of growing faster and bigger compared to S. tranquebarica and S. olivacea....

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Technology Transfer Initiatives

Capacity Building

Capacity building efforts of DOST-PCAARRD seek to develop and enhance the R&D capabilities of researchers
and academic or research institutions through graduate assistantships & non-degree trainings
and development and/or upgrading of research facilities

Infrastructure Development

Manpower Development

Policy Research & Advocacy

Analysis of policy concerns and advocacy of science-informed policies ensures that the AANR policy environment is conducive for S&T development
and investments

Improving the Supply Chain of Mudcrab in the Philippines: The Case of Central Luzon

The study notes that key players are able to fulfill the obligations and responsibilities expected from them, especially in meeting the volume requirement for the other chain members to properly operate. In certain occasions, the consignacion even acts as a bidder in the bulungan to meet the number of mudcrab needed by exporters. The level of trust among trading partners, as they have been working with each other for several years, was discovered to generate a market situation where efficiency and effectiveness is not fully compromised.


Still, various inefficiencies were observed in the supply chains. Occasional crablet shortage, crablet delivery delays, and distant source areas of crablets greatly add to the transaction costs on the part of mudcrab growers. While the bulungan system was observed to work in completing the transactions, it was also noted as an inaccurate way of price determination given its dependency on the buyer’s willingness to pay. Other issues enumerated in the study include the lack of financial resources of mudcrab growers and traders, as well as external factors such as unfavorable weather conditions, flooding, typhoons, and water pollution.


Porciuncula, F.L., Padilla, J.N., Saturno, J.O., and Parayno, R.S. (2014). Supply Chain Improvement of Mudcrab in Central Luzon Region (Phase 1: Evaluation Research). Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines: Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development – (Project Report)