Following the sustainability model of the NFI Crab Council, a group of red crab importers has banded together as the Red Crab Council to sponsor and promote the responsible management of red swimming crab stocks in China. Officially launched August 8th, the Red Swimming Crab FIP is one of the first improvement projects undertaken in China.
The Chinese red swimming crab fishery is located in the northern South China Sea. The industry’s landing and processing hub is in Dongshan of Zhangzhou City within the Fujian Province. The fishery’s 1,000 plus trawl and pot vessels catch approximately 40,000 metric tons of red swimming crab annually.
The FIP will be guided by a five year improvement work plan designed, in part, to establish bycatch monitoring protocols, and to move the fishery towards a science-based catch management strategy, such as utilizing a minimum harvestable crab size and protecting egg-bearing females.
Partnerships with in-country processor associations, China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA) and Zhangzhou Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Association (ZAPPMA), ensure that the FIP action plans are carried out with stakeholder support. NGO Ocean Outcomes (O2) consults on the FIP to keep its aims and execution in-line with recognized sustainability standards.
A portion of the FIP’s pot fleet will also be the special focus of the Fujian government’s national fisheries management reform pilot, where government funding will be invested in important management measures within the development of a comprehensive harvest strategy.