Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Crab, Blue

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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


Blue Crab, Pot or Trotline, U.S.

Blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay trotline fishery is a Seafood Watch(r) Best Choice, while the pot fisheries of the U.S. Atlantic Coast, Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico are a Seafood Watch(r) Good Alternative.

Consumer Note

Only crabs caught in U.S. waters can be sold as blue crabs. Imported blue swimmer crabs are a different species. Blue crab is known as kani when prepared as sushi.

Health Alert

Environmental Defense Fund has issued a consumption advisory for blue crab due to elevated levels of mercury and PCBs.

Summary

Blue crab is found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in state waters. Each state independently manages the blue crab populations within its waters.

Most blue crab is caught in pots, with the exception of the Chesapeake Bay fishery which uses "trotlines." A trotline is hookless; the bait is tied to the line. Crabs are brought in by hauling the line, resulting in zero bycatch. The blue crab pot fisheries, however, have the potential for bycatch - primarily immature blue crabs and diamondback terrapins - a species decreasing in most of its range. New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland have specific terrapin bycatch reduction regulations but more could be done to minimize accidental catch.

Most states coordinate crab pot removal programs to reduce terrapin and crab bycatch associated with ghost fishing (lost and abandoned pots), which is the primary threat to the habitat and ecosystem .


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