Crab Council sets new minimum size


April Forristall, assistant editor

Published on
October 29, 2013

The National Fisheries Institute’s Crab Council announced it has approved increasing the minimum size of crab its members will accept from processors from 8 centimeters to 10 centimeters.

“We have looked at the biology of the blue swimming crab and believe that raising the minimum harvest size to 10 centimeters will result in substantially more reproductive recruitment and contribute to the substantially of the stock,” said Ed Rhodes, council executive director and marine biologist.

The council already has a sourcing policy in effect that prohibits the taking of berried female crabs.

“This new minimum size will also allow us to develop product specifications that can be used to reinforce our goal of minimizing the take of undersized crabs,” said Brendan Sweeney, council interim chair. “This is an example of the science and the practical application of policy working as a de facto regulation.”

Certain municipalities in Asia have moved to a 10 centimeter minimum size and others are considering it but the council’s new guideline would be the first multi-national, minimum size sourcing policy for blue swimming crab.

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