Seafood Watch downgrades Dungeness

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program updated its recommendations on Monday and downgraded California Dungeness crab from best choice to good alternative.

Citing new information about bycatch and changes in its scoring criteria, Seafood Watch still said the fishery “hasn’t changed negatively” as part of a larger review of West Coast Dungeness crab fisheries.

“Currently, there is no scientific stock assessment for Dungeness crab, which makes it difficult to determine whether removing such large quantities of crab from the population is sustainable,” the organization stated in a release. “There are also known gear interactions with endangered humpback whales in California, Oregon and Washington. Though these interactions are rare, their impact is unknown.”

Seafood Watch added that while its concerns aren’t significant enough to warrant an avoid recommendation, the good alternative recommendation is consistent with other crustacean fisheries that don’t have scientific stock assessments.

Six West Coast rockfish species — chilipepper rockfish, longspine thornyhead, splitnose rockfish, widow rockfish and yellowtail rockfish — were upgraded from avoid to good alternative, as were longnose skates, arrowtooth flounder, Dover sole, English sole, lingcod, petrale sole and sablefish, all of which had recently earned sustainability certification from the Marine Stewardship Council. 


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500