• By Yang Yuan-ting and Jake Chung / Journalist, with editor-in-chief

A petition to ban the capture of female crabs bearing fertilized eggs has collected over 2,700 signatures after it was posted on the government public policy platform by National Chengchi University professor Cheng Tung-liao (鄭 同僚) this week.

Cheng said he was amazed to see a basket of female crucifix crabs on sale at the Magong Fishing Market in Penghu County as he visited the outer island.

“These crabs could give birth to many young crabs,” Cheng said.

Photo courtesy of Cheng Tung-liao

When asked why they would take these crabs, which Cheng says are not as tasty as other species, the fishermen replied that someone else would catch them if they didn’t.

Cheng said he was amazed at the “destructive mentality”.

Crab catch limits are too conservative if Taiwan is to promote sustainable maritime ecology in coastal areas, he said.

The law should be changed to completely ban the capture of female crabs that carry eggs, he said.

The Fisheries Agency’s regulation on catching crabs in littoral and coastal areas (沿 近海 捕撈 蟳 蟹類 漁獲 管制 措施 規定) states that female crabs bearing fertilized eggs cannot be caught between August 16 and November 15.

Fisheries Agency director Chang Chih-sheng (張致盛) said the rules not only place a three-month restriction on catching egg-bearing crabs, but also place limits based on size. of each animal.

The agency is due to hold a meeting next month, at which experts, civic groups and fishermen’s associations are invited to discuss the matter further, Chang said.

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