10 hard years for Gecarcoidea Lalandii conservation

By HOANG LY - KIM BAO |

(QNO) - The Gecarcoidea Lalandii species of the Cham Island has been conserved and developed by Dr Chu Manh Trinh and his co-workers.

Fixing the ecological label to preserve the Cham Island Gecarcoidea Lalandii. Photo : Bich Lien
Fixing the ecological label to preserve the Cham Island Gecarcoidea Lalandii. Photo : Bich Lien

After graduating from universities  in the USA and then in Holland, Dr.Chu Manh Trinh came back to Quang Nam province and worked in the forestry branch. In 2003, he went to the Cham Island (Hoi An city, Quang Nam province) to research about bio-diversity. Since that day, his life has been attracted by this green and beautiful island. His footprints have printed on many roads throughout this land to conserve and develop the Gecarcoidea Lalandii. Thanks to Dr.Trinh’s efforts, the local residents called him “Dr. Crab”.

With over 1,500 hectares of natural forest and wet environment, Cham Island is an ideal place for the Gecarcoidea Lalandii’s life and development. From 2006-2011, the Hoi An city authority carried out many research and survey projects about Gecarcoidea Lalandii in Cham Island as well as issued some regulations on conserving and developing this precious crabs. However, due to the bad management, Gecarcoidea Lalandii was illegally exploited by nearly 3,000 local fishmen and faced with the danger of extinction. The price at that time was only 200,000 VND (about 10 USD) per kilogram.  

“The corollary from the illegal exploitation because of the great demand of market in the recent years has caused  the extinction of the Gecarcoidea Lalandii. It made me and my colleagues worry …,” said Dr. Chu Manh Trinh.

 In order to conserve and develop the Gecarcoidea Lalandii species in the Cham Island, in four years (2010-2013), the Global Environment Fund supported the Farmer Union of Tan Hiep commune to carry out the scientific and technological project on establishing the community sample in conserving and exploiting sustainably the Gecarcoidea Lalandii.

The first important work was to build the theory frame for encouraging the local residents to take part in the Gecarcoidea Lalandii conservation and development. In three years, the community groups exploited and fixed ecological label for 9,486 crafts, including 6,390 male crafts and 3,096 female ones. A part of the benefit received from exploitation has been used for conservation activities.

Measuring the size of Gecarcoidea Lalandii before selling. Photo : Bich Lien
Measuring the size of Gecarcoidea Lalandii before selling. Photo : Bich Lien

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources continues to support the MFF programme in two years 2014 and 2015 for the Farmer Union of Tan Hiep commune. Accordingly, the exploitation is just implemented in a particular period and place by place. The exploitation quantity is not over 10,000 crabs per year and all crabs being sold in the market must be fixed an ecological label. Moreover, the cheapest price is 500,000 VND (now is 700,000VND) per kilogram.

“If “Dr. Crab” does not come here to help us, the Cham Island’s Gecarcoidea lalandii is just an image in our memory. At present, the Gecarcoidea lalandii exploitation is an important income of the local people. In 2012, nearly 7,000 crabs were exploited, under the regulated quantity. The most happiness for us is the Gecarcoidea lalandii in the Cham Island to be conserved and developed more and more,” said Mr Nguyen Van Nga , a resident of Bai Ong hamlet, one of 30 members of the exploiting group…

Many works for conservation and sustainable exploitation of the Gecarcoidea Lalandii are waiting for Dr Chu Manh Trinh and people of the Cham Island ahead. The good results which have been implemented by “Dr. Craft” and his coworkers are not only bringing the stable income, right awareness and actions about saving marine economy for local but also making a basic foundation to develop biodiversity of the Cham Island –a World Biosphere Reserve.

By HOANG LY - KIM BAO