NFI Crab Council’s Minimum Size Restrictions Begin

As Policy Takes Effect Group Adds new member in Aqua Star

Adding to a coalition that already makes up nearly 70 percent of the imported Blue Swimming Crab market in the U.S., the NFI Crab Council announced yet another company has signed on to the sustainability alliance, as its new minimum size goes into effect. Aqua Star joins a group that includes Blue Star, Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods, Crystal Harbor, Handy, Heron Point, Lawrence Street Seafood, Newport, Phillips, RGE, Supreme Lobster and Twin Tails.

“We import Blue Swimming Crab and are committed to sustainability, so joining the NFI Crab Council made a lot of sense to us,” said Peter Carpenter, Aqua Star’s Director of Quality Assurance. “The initiative to end the harvesting of undersized crabs is a clear effort by this group of companies to protect the future of this resource and we’re proud to be part of it.”

In March Council members agreed to refuse crabs that do not meet its new minimum-size requirement, beginning July1st. The Council’s Minimum Size Taskforce believes this latest initiative will give Blue Swimming Crabs the chance to mature and breed, adding to the sustainability of the stock.

“This is really the beginning of establishing an optimal minimum size,” said Council Chair Ed Rhodes of Phillips Foods. “Increasing that minimum size has always been part of the equation and the Taskforce will be monitoring this initial effort and revising our policy as needed. But we’re excited to be taking this first step and adding to our ranks with a committed company like Aqua Star.”

The NFI Crab Council has sustainability projects operating in the Philippines and Indonesia where the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has already been promoting the new minimum size requirements to all of the 33 provincial governments.

“Aqua Star is keenly aware that the literal future of the crab community relies on the ability to maintain not only sustainable fisheries but sustainable communities and the NFI Crab Council is as dedicated to the long-term health of the local economies as our company is,” said Carpenter.