Arturo Marcaida Jr. of Cawayan Masbate started as a small time fisherfolk but now owns and runs the multi -million AMJ/Morning Joy Enterprise engaged in crab meat processing and helps other small fishermen in Masbate have a steady source of income through fish/crab capture and provides gainful employment to over 200 t and 50 indirect workers in his crab meat processing plant, He reigns supreme as the most successful fisherman who made it big in fish capture and fish processing business not only in Masbate but in the entire Bicol which earned for him the title "Crab King."
The Asid Gulf used to be his sea of dreams as he used to go fishing with the other fisherfolks in their village, Malbug, Cawayan Masbate where he spent most of his childhood and teenage years. But his parents dream was for him to finish a course in college so he took and completed a business course from the Philippines School of Business Administration in Manila. Upon his return in his hometown he got employed at the Philips Seafooods Corporations, an American company engaged in crab meat processing. with a processing plant in Pe-ña island, fifteen-minute boat ride from Malbug.. He learned the rudiments of the business as various jobs was assigned to him as sorter, checker, in charge of procurement and marketing and finally as manager.
In 1994 the plant has to close down due to management crisis in its base office in Bantayan Island, Cebu City. Using the separation pay he got from Philips Seafood he bought three fishing boats and ventured into his fish/crab capture business. Mid of 1995 the plant resumed itys operation under the leadership of Mr. Marcaida. With full trust and confidence of the corporation president, Mr. Jack Robert Bourdon, the plant through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was endorsed to Marcaida on August 01, 1996 as part-owner. He was given full authority to take over the P1.5 worth processing plant and was given P350,000 for operational expenses. His only obligation is to supply crab meat to Banica, Roxas City where the new main office was established and whatever deliveries will be bought by the company.
To ensure a
steady supply of crab meat Mr. Marcaida thus bought 14 more boats
and established buying and cooking stations in islands of Peña,
Guinlobngan, Hilotongan, and Naro and Barangay Salvador of Cawayan,
Masbate including Guinlothangan Island, Barangays Punta-Tigbao
and sitios Narangasa and Hagmang in Milagros, Masbate.
Aware that the sustainability of his livelihood and business enterprise hinges on the efficient and judicious utilization of the marine resources and proper care of their habitat, Mr. Marcaida strongly advocates the use of non-destructive fishing method and the protection of mangrove. He sets an example by not using fine mesh or beach seine. which can haul even small fishes.
An active president of Peña Fisherfolks Association (PEFA) he and his fellow fishermen in their village regularly patrols the sea to thwart any illegal fishing activity. Having attended trainings on environmental management such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control point and Environment Impact assessment, Mr. Marcaida oriented his fellow fishermen not to catch sponge crab or those about to spawn and other endangered marine species. If ever these are accidentally caught they are returned to the sea or are placed in a specially made crab hatchery.
His efforts are paying off because Asid Gulf is one of the few remaining sea waters which has not been over exploited and whose production capacity has not been greatly depleted.
Over the years Mr. Marcaida has mastered the peculiarities of the sea and the fish/crab behavior in relation to the water temperature, wind direction, lunar or tidal cycles. Mr. Marcaida and his group of fishermen have adopted catch location testing - where they can determine what time and where fishes usually gather. They know when to drop their nets and when to haul them.
He had also instilled among his fellow fishermen that fish capture should be a team effort and that the bounty of the sea should be generously shared If one group of fishermen chances upon a school of fish they would signal to the other fishermen to join them..
An innovator and a dynamic entrepreneur, Mr. Marcaida has developed a crab trap - a modified version of what he saw on HBO television.. His crab trap uses GI wire No. 6 covered with 019 nylon and mesh of 1 knot provided with non-return valve and with bait and bamboo floaters.
The bulk of his income comes from the processed crab meat which he supplies to the Philipp Seafoods Corporation. He earns about Ps 200,000 a month. But more than this he provides employment to some 200 people.
derives income of about P125,000.00 from the sale of dried crab
shells which otherwise would have gone to waste. He delivers
these shells to an Iranian company based in the Visayas.
Mr. Marcaida is not only a self-made man who is now a very successful businessman But more than that he is pro-God, pro people and pro-environment. He truly deserves to join the ranks of Gawad Saka winners not only in the region but also in the entire country,.