February is the high season for catching blue crab in Cha-am. Food enthusiasts are invited to join the 4th “Crab Pulling Festival”, which will be held 8th – 16 February 2014.
Held at the Sea View Terrace (the View Point) on the beach (Ruamchit Road), you can expect plenty of seafood vendors, a drinking area and live musical entertainment. Definitely worth checking out if you are in Cha Am at this time.
The Festival’s objectives are to promote local tourism, preserve the local fishermen’s way of life, and encourage people to help in the conservation of blue crabs.
Muang Cha-am Municipality regularly gives baby blue crabs to local fishermen to release them into the sea in order to help promote the conservation of the traditional crab catching method. It also supports the fishing communities’ blue crab banks where crab eggs are deposited for raising until baby crabs are born, then after growing to a certain size they are released into the sea. Each female crab can carry 30,000-1 million fertilised eggs, but no more than 30% of these will produce offspring.
In November 2013, the Department of Fisheries released 1.6 million blue swimmer crabs, also known as blue manna crabs, into the sea at Samut Sakhon Province. The Director General of Fisheries Department Niwat Sutemechaikul, commented that blue swimmer crabs are very important to Thai economic growth, as nearly 3 billion baht worth of these crabs are exported each year, adding that demand for blue swimmer crabs is substantially high.
The Department was determined to release those marine animals back into the sea in order to rehabilitate marine resources. The released crabs were approximately 10-15 days old. The Director also expected up to 25 million crabs to be released by the end of the program.
The Crab Pulling Festival celebrates the importance of this industry to the local economy with plenty of fresh crab and other seafood, drinks and live entertainment for visitors to enjoy.