Aqua Star joins NFI Crab Council
The National Fisheries Institute Crab Council on Friday announced that Aqua Star has signed its sustainability pledge, as its new minimum size requirement for blue swimming crab goes into effect.
Aqua Star joins a coalition that makes up nearly 70 percent of the imported blue swimming crab market, including Twin Tails, Blue Star, Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods, Crystal Harbor, Handy, Heron Point, Lawrence Street Seafood, Newport Phillips, RGE and Supreme Lobster.
“We import blue swimming crab and are committed to sustainability, so joining the NFI Crab Council made a lot of sense to us. 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,” said Peter Carpenter, Aqua Star’s director of quality assurance. “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.”
In March, council members agreed to refuse crabs that do not meet its new minimum-size requirement, beginning July1. The Council’s Minimum Size Taskforce believes this 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 Ed Rhodes of Phillips Foods, the council’s chairman. “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 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 its 33 provincial governments.