Crabifier app improves mangrove crab identification in Bataan and nearby provinces

Mangrove crab farmers will now be able to identify the species of juvenile mangrove crabs using Crabifier, a mobile application.

This was accomplished during a seminar-workshop on the use of Crabifier in species identification of juvenile mangrove crabs held on November 27, 2019 at Baby's Farm in Brgy. Balut, Orani, Bataan.

Mangrove crab farmers and traders from Bataan, Pampanga, and Bulacan were trained on how to use the Crabifier mobile application. The participants were also able to provide their feedbacks on the technology for its improvement.

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), in coordination with De La Salle University (DLSU) - Manila and the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) Provincial Fisheries Office 3, conducted the seminar-workshop.

Dr. Chona Camille V. Abeledo of DLSU provided an overview about the app.

According to Abeledo, development of the application was inspired by conversations with mangrove crab farmers. Farmers mentioned that it is easier to identify adult mangrove crabs compared with identifying its juveniles.

Crabifier would help farmers identify mangrove crab juveniles as they source it from traders or from the wild, she added.

“The three most common species of mangrove crabs in the Philippines are Scylla serrata, Scylla tranquebarica, and Scylla olivacea,” says DOST-PCAARRD Inland Aquatic Resources Research Division’s (IARRD) Officer-in-Charge Engr. Eduardo V. Manalili. Among the three species, he added, the Scylla serrata is bigger and most preferred by farmers.

Participants were able to use the Crabifier application during a hands-on workshop led by Courtney Anne Ngo of DLSU.

During the afternoon session, farmers were also able to share and discuss their experiences and knowledge on species identification of mangrove crabs, temperature changes brought about by climate change, and mangrove crab fishing and farming practices.

Crabifier is a mobile application developed by DLSU-Manila. It was generated from the DOST-PCAARRD funded project titled, “Integrating Genomics with Image Analysis and Geographic Information System Technology for Improved Rearing of Mudcrabs.”

Currently accessible only on Android devices, the application will soon be accessible on IOS devices as well, according to the DLSU team.