Crab Meat Processors Association (CMPA)
The Crab Meat Processors Association of India was formed in 2017 to promote the crab meat industry in various aspects
- Unite all crab meat processors to improve the crab meat industry in India
- To involve in Fishermen Social improvement activities
- To move with Govt. for Fishery regulations and for export promotions
- To implement FIP for crab conservation in India
- CMPA has taken up the FIP very actively in the Middle of 2017 after several meetings with Crab Council Representatives.
- CMPA is taking lead in involving other organizations such MPEDA (Marine Products Export Development Authority), CMFRI (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute), WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) , Fisheries Colleges /Universities for achieving sustainable resource management.
A majority of BSCs landings occur in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay of South East coast. The BSC fishery is highly seasonal in the west coast, however, BSC are landed about 8 months in Gulf of Kutch in the Gujarat state. The landing is about 600 – 800 metric tons from the west coast. On the East coast, from the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay where the BSC are landed throughout the year, 7000- 8000 Metric tons of BSC landings recorded every year and also the BSC landed for about 3-4 months in the Bay of Bengal near Kakinada, Andhra.
70-80% of exported crabmeat is pasteurized and 20% is cut/section crabs. A portion of Crabs landed are well utilized in the domestic market.
India’s exported crabs contribute 1% to India’s total marine products exports. India’s exports of pasteurized crab meat contributes less than 5% share to the US market share.
The FIP team is coordinated by Dr. G. Sanjeeviraj. Recently he and his field Survey staff, started collecting data on BSC in accordance with the Principles stipulated in the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) from the bulk quantity landing center at Vellapatti (Tuticorin) in Gulf of Mannar region.
The Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is currently being drafted and will be made available January, 2018 and officially introduced at the stakeholders meeting in February, 2018.
In 2007 Phillips Foods solicited SFP’s advice on a sustainability agenda. Phillips Foods and other major crab processors in Indonesia formed the Indonesia Blue Swimming Crab Processors Association (APRI) in 2007, with the goal of sustainable procurement from healthy stocks. SFP and APRI commissioned an MSC Pre Assessment in 2009. APRI currently consists of 13 crab processing and exporting companies in Indonesia, representing over 90 percent of all crab exported from Indonesia to the US market.
Current FIP Status:
APRI was formed in May 2007 with the goal of initiating blue swimming crab management for the economic and ecologic longevity of the resource. APRI supports Blue Swimming Crab sustainability initiatives in Indonesia. BSC’s extensive supply chain covers a diverse range of fishermen, mini-plant workers, mini-plant suppliers, gear suppliers, middlemen, operators and ice producers. APRI and its members campaign for sustainable harvest practices by working with multiple stakeholders for the execution of a comprehensive FIP. APRI collaborates with Universities to support scientific research, works with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to develop a national Fishery Management Plan and convenes regularly with fisher communities to establish community based fishery management. All project activities are managed in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP), segmented into 6 FIP stages. In 2016, APRI added two new members, PT Nirwana Segara, PT TOSS, increasing their total membership to 16 processors.
In 2016, following continuous advocacy by APRI, the Government of Indonesia issued a decree on the Blue Swimming Crab fishery management plan. The crab FMP in WPPNRI (Indonesian fishery management region) is intended to support resource management policies and government fishery laws in the region. This FMP is used to direct and guide the Government, local governments, and stakeholders in the implementation of fishery resource management. This decree follows two previously approved Ministry decrees concerning blue swimming crab fisheries in Indonesia. One establishes minimum carapace width at 10 cm and a prohibition on berried female crabs. The second Ministry Decree annexed all coastal and coastal-seine trawlers.
A list of regulations by the Government of Indonesia regarding the Blue Swimming Crab fishery:
o Minimum landing size: Ministerial Decree No. 56/PERMEN-KP/2016
o Fishing gear ban (coastal and seine-trawls): No.2/PERMEN-KP/2015
o BSC Fishery Management Plan (NOMOR 70/KEPMEN-KP/2016)
o Stock status (NOMOR 47/KEPMEN-KP/2016)
The research branch of MMAF, P4KSI, has been conducting an official BSC stock assessment for the JAVA SEA since January 2014. A stock assessment of the Java Sea was conducted in year 2016, following year 2014 and 2015. Data describing the status of the blue swimming crab (Portunus pelagicus) fishery was collected from three important sites including Jakarta, Rembang, and Pamekasan.‐Madura in Java Sea (WPP 712) in 2016 by the Center for Fisheries Research and Development Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab Association over a period of 7 months between May and November 2016. Three 3,095 females and two thousand, two 2,216 males Blue Swimming Crab were measured by enumerators at three sampling locations in Java Sea in 2016. The residual spawning potential (SP) of the BSC stock in Java Sea after fishing in 2016 was therefore 21% in Rembang and 28% in Madura. The results of the LB SPR assessment indicate that the BSC fishery in Java Sea was operating at above limit reference point (i.e, the Limit References Point SP = 20%) in 2016. The selectivity curve for the BSC fishery in all sampling sites is positioned well to the right of the generic maturity curve of the population of Portunus pelagicus from the BSC fishery in Indonesia. The results of the LB SPR assessment suggest that the operation of the fishery enables almost all BSC to mature before entering the fishery though harvest control rules have been recommended such as, closed near-shore fishing areas, effective enforcement of minimum carapace width of 10 cm or above, fishery closures for spawning seasons, use of selective and environmental friendly gears such as collapsible traps and bottom set gillnets, no berried female crab and the implementation of a system to allow crab habitats to recover.
The results of the stock assessment survey was evaluated by the National Committee for Fisheries Policy (Komnaskajiskan) in the end of 2015 and 2016. Following APRI’s stock assessment, the Government of Indonesia has issued official stock status of BSC (Ministerial Decree NOMOR 47/KEPMEN-KP/2016). The decree about ‘estimasi potensi’ (Maximum Sustainable Yield, MSY), “Jumlah Tangkapan yang Diperbolehkan” (JTB, maximum allowable catch), and exploitation status for each WPP (fishery management region). The decree illustrates perceptions of the Government of Indonesia on current status.
APRI with the support of IPB, conducted a non-target species assessments in 2016. Issues surrounding bycatch are among the most important facing the management of fisheries throughout the world. Non Target Species assessment research activities require an appropriate reference data collection that is relevant and in accordance with scientific principles. The objectives of the field survey of non-target species using the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) Risk Based Framework (RBF) for data limited fisheries are threefold: (1) To identify all non-target species that are potentially at risk of being impacted negatively by a blue swimming crab fishery, (2) To identify all non-target species that are at risk of being impacted negatively by a blue swimming crab fishery, using MSC’s P2 Default Decision Making Tree, (3) To assess the level of risk for each at risk species using MSC’s Productivity, Susceptibility Analysis. Location for research Non Target Species Assessment is located in Rembang, Lancang Island (Seribu Island, Jakarta), and Madura. The assessment was conducted in 20 days in each location by sampling 200 boats per location. Non Target Species assessment research activities required an appropriate reference data collection, relevant and in accordance with scientific principles. The sampling techniques employed by researches and technicians is critical to performing an accurate assessment. Because the fish population is not uniform in space and time, the strategy for sampling should be considered to avoid or minimize error. A total of 87 non-targeted species were recorded during the study period with a very small portion from the total catch. However only 8 species which categorized as Resilient Secondary species. ≥ 2% of the total catch was analyzed using MSC’s Productivity, Susceptibility Analysis. No ETP Species was recorded during the study period.
Through a partnership with USAID-IMACS and APRI, SE Sulawesi fisheries in Kendari and Tiworo Strait were able to establish a multifaceted steering committee, complete a stock assessment using Spawning Potential Ratio (SPR) for 2 year data collection, complete an MSC Gap Analysis by an accredited 3rd party as well as pilot the IFISH server. IFISH is a new fishery data collection and assessment platform that would transition a paper based enumerator system to go online. This would allow stakeholders to upload and assess fishery data in real time. Harvest control rules and target/limit reference points have been established through the steering committee. The Kendari experience will be used as a replicable model for provincial fisheries to organize, collect data and make fishery management decisions at scale. Kendari will look to address MSC PI’s from the Gap Analysis in their next work plan with IMACS- piloting an ASEAN FIP Protocol template, work on co-management initiatives to empower fisher groups and pilot control document systems with mini-pants. The co-management called Fishery Management Committee is now establishing at three provinces: East Java, Central Java and Southeast Sulawesi.
In order to follow up the Indonesian government regulations governing the minimum landing size of blue swimming crab, banning landing berried females, and banning mini-trawl gear, APRI has agreed to implement the Control Document. With the support of NFI Crab Council, training on the control document was conducted at the end of 2015 with APRI members and local governments participating.
The control document/audit scoping started in February 2016 with trial in three locations: Madura, Lampung and Kendari, as a basis for trial implementation by the second semester in 2016. Two training of trainers was conducted in Surabaya in October 2015 and October 2016. The control document trial of these supply chains was conducted in June-December 2016. Auditors were trained on the control document implementation 23-26 November 2016. This APRI and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership event was to (1) provide APRI and its affiliated processors the means to verify the implementation of the control document and its related traceability and documentation processes. (2) To provide training to a group of auditors on the traceability and documentation processes. (3) To evaluate the audit protocol and make the needed adjustments for its final design. As the next step, APRI will hire independent, third-party auditors to confirm implementation of control documents across the entire BSC supply chain – from collectors to mini-plants. This monitoring and auditing is a key part of the industry engagement effort. The Expected Outputs is (1) 10 auditors trained in the Control Document and its related traceability and documentation processes, (2) A final and standardized audit protocol for the traceability and documentation processes related to the control document. The audit process has been conducted by selected independent auditors at three sites in January and February 2017. This initiative of traceability and documentation is expected to achieve a fully auditable supply chain from raw material to the final product and vice versa.
The Directorate of Fishery Resources (SDI) of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) has been developing three pilot projects in Lampung to design, implement and assess a sub-WPP-scale2, multi-stakeholder Blue Swimming Crab (BSC) fishery management initiatives.
The year 2017 APRI will focus to on:
– Stock Assessment programs in the Java Sea
– Implementation of BSC fishery management plan
– Formation of a fishery management committee at three provinces: East Java, Central Java, and Southeast Sulawesi, and resulting Governor Decree on the establishment of this committee and on the management of BSC on the provincial level
– Review modified collapsible trap designs with escape vents and artificial baits
– Mapping mini plant and fisher communities
– Implementation of control document and audit system
– In addition to environmental indicators, APRI will look to improve nforcement and compliance of fishery policies through assessing supply chains, empowerment and organization of fisher communities and pilot traceability systems through control documents.
FIP Accomplishments/Next Steps:
PACPI completed the MSC Gap Analysis with MRAG and fishery stakeholders in September 2014. A draft of the FIP Action Plan with measurable milestones was circulated between stakeholder groups. The final pre-assessment report was completed in May 2015. The alignment to MSC would allow for broader recognition of improvements, recommended by groups such as CASS and Seafood Watch. The realignment means more stakeholders are involved in the FIP process and help the FIP manager organize and monitor sub-project initiatives.
In early 2016, PACPI welcomed the membership of Byrd International Cebu to the roster of member exporters, which accounts for nearly all Philippine blue swimmer crab processors. Industry alignment that keeps in-country processors and their supply-chains on an even playing field is key to securing sustainable resources.
Stock enhancement efforts have been ongoing thru partnership with Negros Provincial Government, which draws cooperation from the barangay councils and local government units. Dispersal activities have spanned across 8 municipalities (14 sites/barangays) in Northern Negros namely Silay City, Talisay City, E.B. Magalona, Manapla, Victorias City, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Escalante City, as well as Bantayan Island in Cebu. Seed dispersal activities have become an effective venue to educate fishers and processors on the importance of sustainability and compliance to existing laws. For the past few months, the Provincial Government of Negros has conducted initial monitoring on berried crab landings and the impacts of stocking berried females in lying-in cages. The province is developing a repository of its FIPs in cooperation with PACPI.
Continuous data collection for BSC in Visayan is being conducted by NSAP in Region 6 which covers 20 sites, though results may only come as raw data at the moment. To align with this initiative, PACPI employed a team of researchers in Bantayan Island (also part of Visayan Sea) last August 2016 to conduct a spawning potential ratio (SPR) assessment, patterned from the pilot project in Danajon Bank in Bohol. Bantayan Island is where the first large-scale of blue crab processing took place. It is also worth noting that all major BSC processors and exporter source from these areas.
USAID-ECOFISH have completed a year’s worth of data collection using SPR methodology. Project partners have agreed to phase out lift nets in favor of pots to prevent catching of juvenile blue crabs. Activities have revolved around redesigning the technical specifications of the pots (e.g. wider valve, bigger mesh size, material consideration) and mass production thereafter, and IEC on crab sustainability and existing laws. Last October 2016, BFAR has already turned over 5,000 crab pots to the select beneficiaries of the Gear Swap Program. At present, PACPI is monitoring the extent of utilization of the pots and will be engaging the fishers in fish catch data collection. Mapping and zoning of blue crab areas for integration in municipal fishery ordinances will also be part of the deliverables before the start of the third quarter. The implications of the project would be a fishery management and data collection framework that could be replicated at scale.
In November 2016, PACPI and University of the Philippines Visayas signed a Memorandum of Agreement to encourage student participation in FIPs for BSC through the Student Research Grant. Topics available for grant include stock assessment, by-catch analysis and species interactions of BSC fishery, evaluation of current management status and stock enhancement strategies, and population genetics, among others. Academe plays a vital role in environmental protection and conservation being a birthplace of knowledge. The University of the Philippines has championed works in the fishery science, resource management, and policies. The same university has successfully completed the government-funded project on the value chain analysis of Philippine BSC. Part of the results were presented to industry and government sectors last December. The project captured various aspects including socio-economic issues, post-harvest practices, policies, and supply chain activities in all critical production areas of blue crabs. This project will provide groundwork for possible interventions to improve the current state of the fishery and its growing industry.
For 2017, PACPI further plans to expand its presence in Palawan which is also among the top 5 producing regions and is where previous reports on ETP species interactions in Malampaya Sound have been documented. PACPI has touched base with various stakeholders’ groups in the identification of management and policy gaps in the Malampaya network. If funding permits, PACPI plans to work with the LGUs, NGOs and academe to conduct stock assessments and employ gear selectivity measures to reduce juvenile exploitation as well as to mitigate impacts of the fishery on ETP species.
FIP Accomplishments/Next Steps:
The Thai Crab Product Group (TCPG) was formed in 2012 under the umbrella of the Thai Frozen Foods Association (TFFA). TCPG is the industry lead for the Thai blue swimmer crab sustainability initiative. An MSC Pre-Assessment was conducted in 2012, and since then there have been numerous consultations with the Thai Department of Fisheries and WWF on best ways to move forward. The FIP will focus in key recruitment areas in the Gulf of Thailand, namely Chantaburi and Surat Thani.
The Thai FIP, in-part with WWF, will focus on Ban Don Bay in Surattani, which is the biggest landing site of Thailand. WWF-Thailand has solicited a 3rd party consultant to complete the MSC Pre Assessment, Scoping Document and draft FIP Action Plan, which is in line with CASS and Monterey Bay Aquarium standards for recognizable FIPs. In addition, ‘National Plan of Action on Sustainable Management of Blue Swimming Crab’ was initiated in 2015 to facilitate the FIP implementation with wider scope in national level of some activities. The NPOA consists of 4 strategies: (a) improving information on BSC fisheries and relevant resources, (b) establishing the direction on BSC restoration, (c) controlling inputs to BSC fisheries, and (d) promoting local participation and responsible BSC fishing.
A draft FIP Action Plan has been circulated to stakeholders for preliminary comments. However, some additional tasks need to add to the current action plan in order to formulate a comprehensive one. Currently, the action plan is in the process of revising with technical support from MRAG. TOR, milestones, responsible agencies, and budget of each task will be developed as input for revision in a 5-year workplan. It is expected to be available in April 2016. At Surat Thani level, a research study proposal has been developed for the implementation. It covers stock assessment, environment impact on BSC fisheries, related ecosystem, as well as development of crab bank and technology transfer.
The Vietnam Blue Swimming Crab FIP was initiated by blue swimmer crab processor companies whom have sustainability requirements by their overseas customers, and also a real need to address depleted resources. The process began in 2009 with a partnership between WWF-GreaterMekong, fishery consultancy Poseidon, and Vietnamese processor companies. The group initiated a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Pre-Assessment. Following the pre-assessment, a FIP scoping document was developed, which includes potential strategies for addressing the deficiencies identified in the pre-assessment. In June 2010, a FIP stakeholder meeting was held in Kien Giang, Vietnam, to discuss the pre-assessment and to develop a FIP Action Plan. The FIP Action Plan describes the necessary FIP activities, associated responsible parties and timeframes required to meet the MSC standard. The pre-assessment and planning of the FIP to address the MSC were advised by fishery consultant, Richard Banks, of Poseidon. Implementation of FIP activities began in September 2010 once the Action Plan was finalised.
In 2011 the VASEP Crab Council was formed under the umbrella of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors, VASEP (http://www.vasep.com.vn/). The VASEP Crab Council is comprised of 5 prominent seafood companies exporting blue swimmer crab products around the world the association represents 90% of Vietnamese exports of pasteurised blue swimmer crabmeat. The association deals with contentious issues in the fishery, paramount of which is sustainability. The VASEP Crab Council chose to work with WWF to help facilitate their sustainability initiative. WWF is the FIP advisor.
Current FIP Status
Since the initiative’s inception, VASEP Crab Council companies have been working WWF-Vietnam to plan and implement the FIP. The FIP has been planned and assessed using MSC standards and advised through 3rd party consultations. After the Annual Review last October, the FIP is well on track with improvements made on a number of MSC Principle Indicators regarding P1, P2 and P3.
The FIP is dedicated to continuous data collection for the stock assessment with the Research Institute of Marine Fisheries (RIMF), using recognized methods to estimate biomass (i.e. Beverton Holt Yield Curve). The stock assessment has produced adoption of Target and Limit Reference Points and a working status of stock. These two outputs will be used as a basis for stock rebuilding strategy. Recommendations for harvest control rules include: gear modifications to increase size selectivity, seasonal reduction of fishing effort, enforcement of area demarcation for gear and boat types and enforcement of legal minimum carapace width at 10 cm. As a result of the FIP, new policies for increased mesh sizes has been approved and implemented for bottom-set gillnets, collapsible traps and ‘Chinese’ trap gear types.
Co-management and community-campaigns have been planned and implemented since 2015 and will continue into 2017. These initiatives are catered to help improve compliance and stewardship of harvest strategies that are in place to recover blue swimmer crab resources and improve fisher livelihoods. The FIP has also solicited RIMF to conduct a bio-economic study to highlight the economic upside to good fishing practices and industry alignment. Vietnam will also look to pilot traceability and control document systems in BSC supply chains with VASEP Processors, DARD and the Crab Council.
The VASEP Crab Council also became a grantee as a prototype to pilot 50in10’s Theory of Change. The approach looked at the entire system of a fishery that includes empowerment of fisher communities and effective management rather than solely environmental indicators. The program would further be rolled-out to an investible proposition from the private sector for fishers keen to take responsibility for their resource. While foundations and multilaterals can provide up-front investments to catalyze change, private finance can sustain it over the long term. This will be in collaboration with already planned co-management, social-economic and compliance systems.
FIP Accomplishments/Next Steps:
Current FIP Progress & News
Narrative FIP Summary September 2019
The Blue Swimming Crab FIP Bulletin January-June 2019
Archived Blue Swimming Crab FIP Bulletins
The Seafood Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka (SEASL) was established in 1996 to represent and promote the interests of companies engaged in the export of seafood products from Sri Lanka. The SEASL provides a common platform for Sri Lankan seafood companies to discuss challenges and concerns affecting seafood exports, as well as issues affecting the fisheries industry as a whole in Sri Lanka.
The SEASL acts as an important focal point for engagement between US buyers, seafood companies, fishers, raw material suppliers, and the Government of Sri Lanka. The SEASL lobbies and advises the government on policy and practices related to seafood exports, including inspection, licensing and certification of seafood products. The SEASL is also a forum for dialogue within the seafood community in Sri Lankan and between the Sri Lankan seafood sector and the international seafood community.
The SEASL’s goal is to ensure the long term economic, social and environmental sustainability of the seafood sector in Sri Lanka. To achieve this goal, the SEASL and its member organizations work in close collaboration with producers and suppliers, as well as with the agencies and authorities of the Government of Sri Lanka. The SEASL promotes and seeks to improve the sustainable exploitation and management of Sri Lanka’s marine resources.
Sri Lankan Blue Swimming Crab Market
In 2011, the blue swimming crab (Portunus pelagius) accounted for the majority of Sri Lankan crab exports. Key Sri Lankan crab products include chilled and frozen fresh crab and pasteurized crab meat (canned). Mud crabs(Scylla serrata) are exported alive or as chilled fresh crab. Sri Lankan crab products exported to the USA accounted for 40% of the total annual export earnings from Sri Lankan crab products in 2011, worth around US$ 6 million.
The Sri Lankan BSC fishery is a coastal fishery, which operates in the relatively shallow waters of the southern tip of the Gulf of Mannar, across the Palk Straits to the southern boundary of the Bay of Bengal, is based almost exclusively on gill net fishing from small fibre reinforced plastic boats (17½ ft and 19½ ft) and traditional ‘vallams’ (23ft), powered by 15 – 25 hp outboard motors. A much smaller fishery for BSC (and other crabs including Charybdis annulatus and Sycalla serratus) is located in the Jaffna Lagoon, due south of the Jaffna Peninsula. The Jaffna Lagoon fishery relies on non mechanised traditional craft (i.e., vallams) and a variety of fishing gear including baited traps, stake nets, cone cages and trammel nets.
Sri Lankan Blue Swimming Crab FIP
The decision by the Seafood Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (SEA SL) to initiate a Fisheries Improvement Plan (FIP) for the BSC fishery off the northwest and northern coast of Sri Lanka is a direct response to the ongoing developments in the BSC fishery including US market demands for sustainable sources of seafood, and to the demands from fishing communities, government agencies, non government and academics to maintain the social and economic benefits generated by the fishery through sustainable management of the resource.
The NFI Crab Council helped SEASL to commission an independent evaluation of the SLBSC fishery that was conducted by the consultant, Dr. Steven Creech.
Two annual stock assessments covering each of the two management units (Bay of Bengal / Gulf of Mannar) have been completed with financial and technical support form organizations including SEASL, UN-ILO, UN-IOM and NARA. NARA, the national entity for fishery science, is in the process of completing a scientific investigation of the population biology of the blue swimming crab in Sri Lanka. This will be completed by the end of March 2016. Partnership with UN ILO and IOM have focused on supporting fisher livelihoods and community led management initiatives and have included supporting community based stock assessments using a length based spawning potential (LBSP) approach. LBSP is a rapid and cost-effective stock assessment method that is intended to help fisher communities and formal fishery regulators (i.e., DFAR / NARA) manage and monitor wild-caught resources. The second annual assessment of BSC stock in each fishery were completed in February 2016. The Australian government’s Department of Aid and Trade sponsored LBSP scientists Dr. Jeremy Prince and Dr. Adrian Hordyk in 2015 to provide technical assistance to DFAR, NARA and the FIP on the LBSP approach and its application in the Sri Lankan BSC fishery.
In other fishery management initiatives between SEASL and fishermen’s cooperative societies’ unions (FCSU) Poonakeary with financial assistance form UN-ILO Local Empowerment through Economic Development (LEED) project have sponsored research on crab net selectivity studies that will further support the management of the immature crabs from entering the fishery. In 2015 undergraduate students from the Uva Wellasa Universtiy and Ocean University conducted empirical assessments of the fishery on non-target species (NTS) using MSC’s Risk Based Framework for data poor fisheries.
A FIP steering Committee was established by SEASL with the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR), fisher co-ops and fisher groups and NARA in 2013. The national steering committee has met twice. The third annual meeting will take place in March 2016. The national steering committee seeks to dovetail data collection efforts with fishery management initiatives for blue swimmer crab fishers and fisheries annually. Sri Lankan coastal fisheries have long been plagued with trawler issues both domestically and abroad from India. A dialogue with the Foreign Minister, DFAR and fisher communities has been actively supported by the FIP. Fishery stakeholders continue to lobby and petition for policy changes that would prohibit destructive trawler activities in small scale crab fishermen’s fishing grounds. The DFAR with support from the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project (BOBLME) completed fishing effort surveys in both fisheries to further improve the understanding and management of the fishery.