Traditionally, mud crabs where collected by women and children as a way to get a little extra money, but are now fished by tens of thousand of small-scale fishersOnce ignored by fishing communities as no more than a second-class snack, the mud crab has entered the big time as the island’s third most valuable fisheries export. High international demand, particularly from China, has led to prices for mud crabs doubling and then tripling in only ten years.Unfortunately, this rapid growth in demand has led to unsustainable levels of fishing. Ongoing research by the Institut Halieutique des Sciences Maritime in Toliara has highlighted the decline of crab fisheries near inhabited areas, including reductions in fishing yields and in the average size of crabs.