Indonesia commits to crab size requirement
Indonesia’s federal government has informed the country’s 33 provincial governments that an 8-centimeter minimum-size limit will become a requirement for blue-swimming crab exports to the United States, National Fisheries Institute’s Crab Council reported on Thursday.
The federal government sent out a letter to stakeholders, including local fisheries services, mini-plants and associations, to implement the minimum-size limit, although it is voluntary.
“This is a major accomplishment and a significant first step toward having rules and regulations in place in Indonesia that will contribute in a large measure to the sustainability of the blue swimming crab fishery,” said NFI spokesperson Gavin Gibbons. “There is much left to do, but we are on the way. We will communicate with [Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries] that we are pleased with this action and affirm the council’s support for science-based rules and regulations that will lead to a sustainable crab fishery. We will also strongly suggest that the 8-centimeter minimum be applied to all crab exported, and that it be made mandatory as part of regulation.”
Crab Council members that source blue-swimming crabs from Indonesia and the Philippines first adopted a minimum-size requirement in late March. The policy requires that crab carapaces measure at least 8 centimeters acros.
The 11 U.S. companies participating in the Crab Council — John Keeler and Co., Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods, Handy International, Heron Point Seafood, Lawrence Street Seafood, Newport International, Phillips Foods, RGE Agridev Corp., Supreme Lobster and Twin Tails Seafood — represent more than 60 percent of the U.S. market for blue-swimming crab products.
For an in-depth look at the Crab Council members’ sustainability efforts, read James Wright’s feature “Competitors in cahoots,” which appeared in the April issue of SeaFood Business magazine.