Philippines’ Top Exported Live Aquatic Animals in 2017

1 (Crab)

Charybdis feriata (Crucifix Crab) [1]

Especially important in markets in East Asia, where it commands substantially higher premium prices being sold for USD 8.00 to USD 15.00 per kilogram. Occurs at depths from 30 to 60 m. It is distributed in subtropical and tropical climates. It is also usually found in shallow sandy or rocky areas [6]. There is lack of information and studies regarding Crucifix Crabs in the Philippines.

Pornutus armatus (formerly known as P. pelagicus; Blue Swimmer Crab) [3]

(Blue swimmer is a more trusted/recognized common name for P. armatus according to international bodies)

Recent taxonomic revision based on the morphological and genetic divergence between populations across the P. pelagicus’ vast range has revealed that the species is actually a four-member species complex [4]. Broad sampling of blue swimmer crab P. pelagicus across the Philippines revealed the comparably wide distribution of a putative cryptic Portunus species. In any case, catch rates of Portunus in the Philippines have been reported to be waning in recent years in part due to unregulated increased fishing efforts and a slow progress in developing alternative technologies to wild-caught seeds for rearing blue crabs in captivity [5].

Scylla serrata (Mudcrab) [1]

Typically associated with mangroves in estuaries and sheltered coastal habitats, they are found in soft muddy bottoms where they dig deep burrows. Courtship and mating occur in estuaries. Mature S. serrata migrate offshore (up to 50 km) to spawn. Male crabs can grow up to 3 kg with 28 cm carapace width while female crabs have wide and dark abdomens and dark orange ovaries that fill the cavity under the carapace [2].

2 (Ricefield Eel)

Monopterus albus (White Ricefield Eel)

Found in hill streams to lowland wetlands. Also, occurs in streamlets, canals, and estuaries. Lives in muddy ponds, swamps and rice fields; burrows in moist earth in dry season surviving for long periods without water. Inhabits still water of swamps and ponds, but sometimes found in gently flowing streams. Nocturnal predator devouring fishes, worms, crustaceans, and other small aquatic animals; also feeds on detritus [7].

3 (Grouper)

Grouper, any numerous species of large-mouthed heavy -bodied fishes of the family Serranidae (order Perciformes), many belonging to the genera Epinephelus and Mycteroperca. Groupers are widely distributed in warm seas and are often dully colored in greens or browns, but a number are brighter, more boldly patterned fishes [8]. Groupers, prized for their quality of flesh, are facing critical threats to their survival. Scientists report that 20 species are at risk of extinction if current overfishing trends continue [9].

4 (Nylon Shell)

Paratapes undulatus (more commonly known as Undulate Venus) [1]

Distributed in the Indo-West Pacific, this saltwater clam is usually used as food sustenance is some Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines [6]. Limited information is available regarding this saltwater clams.

5 (Slipper Lobster)

Slipper lobsters are crustaceans belonging to the highly distinctive yet little-known Scyllaridae family, and are closely related to the well-known and commercially important spiny lobsters (Palinuridae) [10]. Several species, especially of the genera Scyllarides, Thenus, and Ibacus, are of commercial importance as food and its market value is usually lower than those of local spiny lobsters [11].

6 (Sea Mantis)

Mantis shrimp, any member of the marine crustacean order Stomatopoda, especially members of the genus Squilla. The mantis shrimp is a widely distributed group consisting of more than 350 species and usually occur in coastal waters. Many species are taken commercially for human consumption [8].

7 (Stonefish)

Synanceia sp.

Stonefish, any of certain species of venomous marine fish of the genus Synanceia and the family Synanceiidae, found in shallow waters of the tropical Indo-Pacific [8]. It has been considered by Forbes as one of the world’s most deadly delicacies. When stonefish venom is cooked, it loses its potency. And when served raw, its venomous dorsal fins are simply removed [12].

8 (Eel)

Black Eel

According to international publications, Black Eel is a common name referring to Anguilla rostrata which other common names are American eel, Yellow eel, green eel, Glass eel, Silver eel, River eel, and Bronze eel [14]. It has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as ‘Endangered’ [7]. This eel has become a delicacy in Asia, and as such as there is a large demand or its harvest [14].

Moray Eel

Moray eel is the common name for any marine eels comprising the family Muraenidae of the order Anguilliformes. Moray eels are the only known animal that uses a second set of jaws with pharyngeal jaws in capturing prey. There are about 200 species in 15 genera (Diaphenchelys sp., Echidna sp., Enchelycore sp., Enchelynassa sp., Gymnomuraena sp., Gymnothorax sp., Monopenchelys sp., Muraena sp., Pseudechidna sp., Rhinomuraena sp., Strophidon sp., Anarchias sp., Channomuraena sp., Cirrimaxilla sp., Scuticaria sp., Uropterygius sp.) [13].

9 (Gelonia Clam)

Polymesoda erosa or Geloina expansa (its accepted scientific name) is widely distributed throughout the west Indo-Pacific region, and is currently unlikely to be impacted by any major threat processes. However due to its importance as food source, further research is recommended into this species’ population status and the impact of potential threats on the population [7].

10 (Tilapia)

Tilapia, a common name used for certain species of fishes belonging to the family Cichlidae (order Perciformes). Tilapias are perhaps best known because of their potential as an easily raised and harvested food fish. The most widely cultured and introduced species is Oreochromis niloticus. All tilapias were formerly part of the genus Tilapia; however, the group is now divided into mouth-brooding genera (Sarotherodon sp. and Oreochromis sp.) and those that deposit eggs on the bottoms of ponds and lakes (Tilapia sp.) [8]. |



The list provided here was sourced from the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic and Resources. For more information (e.g. export volume, importing countries, etc.), you may contact the author through any of his contact information.



  1. World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). Last visited on August 1, 2018 at
  2. Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Food and Agriuculture Organization of the United Nations. Last visited on August 1, 2018 at
  3. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Fisheries: Blue Swimmer Crabs. Last visited on August 1, 2018 at
  4. Lai, J., Ng, P., & Davie, P. 2010. A Revision of the Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) Species Complex (Crustacea: Brachyura: Portunidae), with the Recognition of Four Species. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Last visited on August 1, 2018 at
  5. Sienes, P., Willette, D., Romena, L., Alvior, C., & Estacion, J. 2014. Genetic Diversity and the Discovery of a Putative Cryptic Species within a Valued Crab Fishery, Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus 1758), in the Philippines. Philippine Science Letters.
  6. SeaLifeBase. 2018. Last visited on August 1, 2018 at
  7. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. 2018. Last visited on August 2, 2018 at
  8. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2018. Last visited on August 2, 2018 at
  9. ScienceDaily. 2018. Last visited on August 2, 2018 at
  10. Sheperds, S., Bryars, S., Kirkegaard, I., Harbison, P., & Jennings, J. 2008. Natural History of Gulf St Vincent, Edition 1. Royal Society of South Australia Inc. Pages 480 – 484.
  11. Lavalli, K. & Spanier, E. 2007. The Biology and Fisheries of the Slipper Lobster. CRC Press – Taylor & Francis Group. Page 377.
  12. Bulger, A. 2010. World’s Most Deadly Delicacies. Forbes. Last visited on August 2, 2018 at
  13. New World Encyclopedia. 2014. Last visited on August 3, 2018 at







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s