Seafood command a high price in the market. Compared to farm produced animal meat like pork and beef, the seafood price remains high. A fisherman gets the catch of fresh seafood from our vast oceans, which Philippines is luckily an archipelago and not land locked. Our rich seas provides one of the hearty and delicious source of crustacean species eaten and priced at a high value loved by Filipinos, and even foreign tourists. Lobster is considered by many as a high-value seafood delicacy, and has obtained a prime status amongst restaurant menu here locally and abroad. Live weight cost of lobsters from local market is around Php 500.00 to Php 600.00 depending on season. This cost will definitely higher in supermarket’s meat section. Not known to many, there is even higher priced meat per kilo from this special seafood which is even higher than lobster. That seafood is very hard to find, but provides a gastronomical experience when eaten. It is called Coconut crab. Crabs being another high value seafood, has an exotic specie, which is a type of crab that is terrestrial. The meat is characterised as white, and soft when cooked. The coconut crab meat is similar in texture to lobster. The meat of coconut crab is priced handsomely, and has tremendous business potential.
The coconut crab has the scientific name Birgus latro is a species of terrestrial hermit crab. It has other names like palm thief due to its diet of coconut. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, which can grow up to 4.1 kg. It can grow to up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in length from leg to leg. It is found on Indonesia, islands across the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean. Coconut crabs can be found in the Philippines.
Coconut crab are sold by locals, at a whooping price of Php 600 to Php 700. At this price, a fully grown coconut crab weighing 2 Kg can be sold at Php 1200.00. However, take note that the said animal is on the threatened species list, and law prohibits the capture, selling and consumption of threatened species. Producing your own coconut crabs is not possible since techniques for propagation is not yet developed for the said crab. Plus, it takes 40-60 years before the crab grows to full-sized adult. Therefore, there is no business potential for coconut crab.