Crabs play an important economic and bio-ecological role in most aquatic ecosystems and occupy an important place in the variety of trophic niches. Callinectes amnicola Rochebrune and Cardisoma armatum Herklots are two edible species widely exploited in Benin. The present work aims to i) evaluate the socio-economic and cultural importance of those two crab species, ii) analyze the dynamics of the value chain, and iii) monitor the flow of their resources. Surveys were carried out during February 2018 to September 2019 among target groups in Ouémé, Atlantic and Littoral administrative Departments of Benin through structured and semi-structured interview methods as well as free interview. Results indicate that fishermen/catchers (12.76%), wholesalers/collectors (25.53%) and retailers (61.70%) are the actors involved in the crab value chain. Between 40 and 50% of fishery products are exported to markets in Togo and Ghana. Not all of the exoskeletons resulting from post-capture losses and those resulting from treatments for consumption, in particular C. amnicola (74.46%) and C. armatum (76.59%) are used, which poses an environmental management problem. The gains made in the sector vary from 8.000±2.828 Financial Community African Franc (FCAF) (C. amnicola) to 20.000±21.213 FCAF (C. armatum). The study found that crabs (C. armatum and C. amnicola) have remarkable socio-economic importance in Southern Benin, Africa.
Key words: Crab, economic analysis, monitoring, Benin.
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