Saturday, March 27, 2010

Batanes: Coconut crab is a threatened species in the Philippines

It was brought to my attention that the coconut crab (Birgus latro), also known as tatus in Batanes, is a threatened species. According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, "Buying, using, gathering, possessing and/or transporting [this] species are prohibited under Philippine laws (Republic Act No. 8550, Sec. 91, 92 and 97; Fisheries Administrative Order 202 and 208) and international treaty (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, CITES)."

The coconut crab is a very popular delicacy in Batanes. And many tour operators, caterers and restaurants still serve it to visitors. I wonder if they know that it is a threatened species. Anyway, for those heading over to Batanes, take note of that. Let's tell our suppliers not to serve coconut crab as part of our efforts to help in the conservation of this threatened species.
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