Group to ask US for more Jonah crab protection
A collaborative based in New England is heading to Washington to lobby the United States government for more regulations to protect Jonah crab.
The group, made up of fishermen, scientists, retailers, regulators and processors all based in New England, will make their pitch on 14 May to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. They are hoping to get a management plan in place to study and watch over the species, according to Jen Levin, seafood program manager at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
“Landings of Jonah crab have more than quadrupled over the last 20 years, but we still lack a management plan that would monitor the species and create limits to protect it from overfishing, Levin said. “We are helping to facilitate an industry-led effort to sustainably manage this resource and safeguard the long-term health of the fishery.
Once a bycatch of the lobster industry, market demand for Jonah crab has shot up in recent years, prompting the call for a more regulated approach to the fishing. The group is asking for reporting requirements, minimum catch size, and an emergency ban on harvesting females.