NFI Crab Council Expands Work in Thailand

New Partnership Highlights Importance of Science-Based Sustainability Efforts

The National Fisheries Institute’s Crab Council has joined the Thai Frozen Food Association’s Thai Crab Product Group, the Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Center and Rambhai Barni Rajabhat University (RBRU) in signing a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct research on the effectiveness of crab-bank cages.

“This is an important step in understanding the science that may contribute to the sustainability of the Blue Swimming Crab fishery,” said Council Chair Ed Rhodes of Phillips Foods. “The Council has started to fund population enhancement efforts that include hatcheries and cages to protect egg bearing female crabs but if you don’t conduct the science to find out if they work, you’re missing a piece of the puzzle.”

The crab-bank cages, run by the Royal Development Study Center are part of an initiative, decreed by His Majesty King Bhumibol of Thailand.  The facilities aim to promote effective management of coastal fisheries, provide effective environmental programs and increase income in surrounding villages.

“This research, in conjunction with work to develop broader fisheries improvement efforts along with regulations and policies that support those efforts will serve as a good foundation for crab sustainability work in Thailand,” said NFI Crab Council Asia Liaison Jeremy Crawford.

There has been an increase in focus on Blue Swimming Crab sustainability in Thailand recently and the Thai Fisheries Department has just completed a draft of its proposed sustainability Master Plan.