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A thousand and one crabs

A photo was posted on Facebook featuring a woman holding a plastic basket full of crabs in one hand and in the other raising a crab filled with eggs in a stomach half as big as its body.

Posted on October 14 on a page called Khmer Author ChanboKeo, the photo was attached with a caption in Khmer reading: “The crab’s stomach is filled with eggs. When it was caught, it should have been put back into the sea to have a thousand times better chance of increasing its numbers next year.”

The photo attracted many Facebook users. There were 510 “likes” and 38 people shared it with others. Some people left opinions in the comment box.

Most of them shared their concerns that harvesting crabs with eggs could be very harmful to the number of crabs in the future.

“I beg my aunt and sister to abandon the pregnant crabs!” Chin Chin wrote in Khmer, while Po Samath commented: “[crabs] must be abandoned if [people] want sustainable natural resources. All people should involve themselves in preserving their numbers by not eating female crabs, especially pregnant ones.”

Some Facebook users urged the government – in particular local authorities – to take action on the issue by banning fishermen from harvesting pregnant crabs.

HuotChannimu, for example, said: “The fishery authority in Kep and Kampong Som province should have strategies in place to prevent people from harvesting pregnant crabs because each one of them contains thousands of future crabs.”

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