Fishery stakeholders in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi met on November 20th to review recommendations for target/limit reference points, harvest control rules and the MSC Pre Assessment that was sponsored by IMACS earlier in September. The meeting was in-part organized by APRI members whom are major buyers in the area. Department of Marine Fisheries at the Provincial Government have agreed to an official 10cm minimum carapace width that is in-line with the NFI Crab Council’s minimum size standard as well as a target reference point of 20% SPR. This agreement will be formalized in an official letter of appointment. Other harvest control rules still under review include modified fishing gears, closures for nursery grounds and modifications in fishing effort during spawning seasons. Also discussed were communication components that would help socialize compliance and enforcement of control rules.
PACPI recently hosted a number of visitors including California Environmental Associates and Sustainable Seafood Research and Consulting. These groups conduct similar research on FIP focused fisheries, analyzing opportunities and barriers for sustainability within the FIP system.
The first draft of the MSC Pre Assessment, conducted by MRAG-UK in late September, has been completed and is currently under review. Philippine stakeholders and fishery experts have provided sufficient data to start developing and revising the FIP Action Plan. The next stakeholder meeting is tentatively planned for February.
VASEP Crab Council
VASEP Crab Council are continuing their support for the Research Institute of Marine Fisheries (RIMF) to conduct the stock assessment. DARD and WWF have reached out to the industry seeking more support for co-management and communication initiatives aimed at reshaping practices at the fisherman and mini-plant/trader level.
Thai Crab Product Group (TCPG) are finalizing the FIP Action Plan with the Department of Fisheries, WWF-TH, and local universities.
SEASL continues their support to NARA in a “population biology” study to identify biological reference points for blue swimmer crab stocks in Northern Sri Lanka.
Sustainability at Home
The Crab Council continues to expand its membership with the addition of Ocean Source Group. Based in the British Virgin Islands with operations in Thailand, Ocean Source Group procures, packs and supplies premium Blue Swimming Crab meat, among other seafood items, for customers and under its own label.
“Ocean Source Group considers our resources as the lifeblood of our business,” said Ocean Source’s Director of Business Development Craig Perry. “The Crab Council has maintained this position since inception and we are glad to join a likeminded group that values responsible management as part of a sound business model.”