Blue crab fishery earns certification

19 Mar 2012
Blue crab. Credit: John Starmer/Marine Photobank

Blue crab. Credit: John Starmer/Marine Photobank

The Louisiana blue crab fishery, fished by 3,000 commercial fishermen, has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as a sustainable and well-managed fishery.

The assessment was undertaken by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), who identified six improvement actions that fishery must perform during the five year period of certification. These actions address the harvest strategy, acquisition of additional data, bycatch and ecosystem impact, and progress will be assessed during the annual surveillance audits required by the MSC program.

Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) are harvested year-round, primarily with baited traps tended strictly during daylight hours. Harvesters target hard shell blue crabs for both the live and processed meat markets and also peeler crabs for sale to soft crab shedders. Louisiana blue crab landings have averaged over 40 million pounds in recent years and comprised nearly 30% of total US blue crab landings in 2009. 

Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board says: “MSC certification is a major, positive development for thousands of Louisiana commercial blue crab fishermen, our processors and marketers and the entire Gulf Region. MSC certification brings a new source of pride and confidence in Louisiana seafood and it will help us assure buyers and consumers across the United States that Louisiana Seafood is sustainable.”

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Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

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