Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Crab, Dungeness

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Crab Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Crab, Kani Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Crab, Blue Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Blue-Claw, Hardshell & Softshell Crab, Kani U.S. Pot
Crab, Blue Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Blue-Claw, Hardshell & Softshell Crab, Kani Chesapeake Bay Trotline
Crab, Dungeness Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Commercial, Market, Pacific Edible & San Francisco Crab Alaska Trap
Crab, Dungeness Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Commercial, Market, Pacific Edible & San Francisco Crab California, Oregon, Washington Trap
Crab, Imitation (Alaska Pollock) Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Imitation Lobster, Kanikama, Surimi Alaska Wild
Crab, Imitation (not Alaska Pollock) Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Imitation Lobster, Kanikama, Surimi Worldwide Wild
Crab, Jonah Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Atlantic Dungeness Crab U.S. Atlantic Wild
Crab, King Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Alaska King, Blue King, Golden King & Red King Crab, Kani U.S. Trap
Crab, King Red Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Blue King, Golden King, King & Red King Crab, Kani Russia Trap
Crab, King Southern Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. King & Southern Red King Crab, Centolla Argentina Pot,Trap
Crab, Kona Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Frog & Spanner Crab, Papa'i kualoa Hawaii Wild
Crab, Kona Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Frog & Spanner Crab Australia Wild
Crab, Snow Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Queen, Snow, Spider & Tanner Crab, Kani Eastern Bering Sea, U.S. Pot, Trap
Crab, Snow Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Queen, Snow, Spider & Tanner Crab, Kani Eastern Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Pot, Trap
Crab, Snow Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Queen, Snow, Spider & Tanner Crab, Kani Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada Pot, Trap
Crab, Stone Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Florida Stone & Gulf Stone Crab U.S. Atlantic, U.S. Gulf of Mexico Wild
Crab, Swimmer, Blue Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Swimming, Swimmer, Colossal, Jumbo Lump, Super Lump, Lump & Backfin Lump Crab China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines Pot, Bottom Gillnet, Bottom Trawl
Crab, Swimmer, Red Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Swimming, Swimmer, Colossal, Jumbo Lump, Super Lump, Lump & Backfin Lump Crab China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam Pot, Bottom Gillnet, Bottom Trawl


Dungeness Crab, Trap, Alaska or U.S. West Coast

The Dungeness crab fishery is well-managed. It only takes male crabs, is closed during the molting season and has strict limits on minimum size. This comprehensive management approach protects and sustains future populations.

The Oregon fishery for Dungeness crab is certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Summary

The Dungeness crab is native to the Pacific coast with commercial fisheries from Alaska to Point Conception, California. It's caught with traps, a method considered eco-friendly because fishermen can release undersized crabs and other bycatch mostly unharmed.

Dungeness crab fisheries are managed under the "3-S" principle: size, sex, and season. Only mature male crabs of at least 6-1/4 inches are allowed to be landed. This ensures males reach sexual maturity and are able to mate for one to two years before being caught. Female or soft-shelled (molting) crabs cannot be taken and fishing seasons are scheduled to avoid the crabs' primary molting season.

In California, Oregon and Washington, this well-crafted management approach has maintained population health and abundance over the past 50 years. In Alaska, however, less robust management practices have resulted in the collapse of Dungeness crab populations in several areas.

As a result, Dungeness crab from Alaska is a "Good Alternative," while Dungeness crab from California, Oregon and Washington is a "Best Choice."


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat