The National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) Crab Council has signed an agreement with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership that formalizes a relationship of collaboration and common-interest for Blue Swimming Crab sustainability. The memorandum of understanding between the industry trade group and seafood NGO establishes areas of cooperation that will lead to the strengthening of fishery improvement projects, sharing of stock analysis information and piloting of new supply chain oversight work.
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) provides strategic and technical guidance to global seafood suppliers, producers and retailers. An important advisor to the Crab Council since the Council’s formation, SFP’s support comes at the beginning of a new chapter for the industry-led crab sustainability organization.
“SFP’s understanding of a fishery’s ecology and economy is a rare, essential combination,” said NFI Chairman Brendan Sweeny. “Their balanced approach is exactly the kind of counsel the Crab Council needs as we explore and test new methods of sourcing control.”
The NFI Crab Council funds fisheries improvement efforts in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. To better influence responsible harvest practices in these fisheries, the Crab Council has begun pilot testing of a Control Document. Designed with consultation from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, the Control Document restricts the catch of berried and undersized crabs with measures that establish control points throughout the supply chain which are subject to inspection by a third party auditor.
“The Crab Council has been at the forefront of industry-driven sustainability,” said SFP President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Cannon. “As they continue to innovate with supply management, we look forward to refining the blueprint and eventually expanding a well-vetted, practically applied version into a fishery-wide standard.”