Blue swimming crab fishery in the Phillipines
Blue swimming crab is a commercially important seafood product throughout Southeast Asia. The U.S. market is the main export destination and drives global demand for blue swimming crab.

  • By 2022, improve the blue swimming crab fishery in the Visayan Sea and achieve at least a Good Alternative rating or equivalent.

  • Visayan Sea, Philippines

  • Blue swimming crab (Portunus pelagicus)

  • Pots, gillnets and lift nets

  • ~13,000 mt (40 percent of Philippine's annual production of blue swimming crab)

Performance & Trade

The Visayan Sea blue swimming crab fishery represents one of the most important seafood export products in the Philippines and is the center of one of the country’s largest and most important fishing grounds. The fishery accounts for approximately 40 percent of the Philippines blue swimming crab catch, valued at $30 million USD per year and provides direct employment for over 8,000 fishermen. All blue swimming crab produced by the Philippines is currently rated Avoid.
Trade graph showing 100 percent blue swimming crab produced by the Philippines is rated Avoid.
Phillipines blue swimming crab fishermen

Challenges

Significant fishing pressure, including the harvest of juvenile crabs and egg-bearing females has resulted in a declining population of blue swimming crab and conservation concerns within the Visayan Sea.

Our Approach

The Philippines' Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Philippine Association of Crab Processors Inc., the USAID Fish Right Program, Chicken of the Sea (Thai Union North America), Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Saravia Blue Crab Inc. are working together to improve the sustainability of the blue swimming crab fishery in the Visayan Sea. This commitment brings these parties together to engage small-scale fishing communities, the supply chain and the government to address key sustainability challenges, including data collection, transparency, overfishing, use of best practices, incentives and compliance of fishermen.
Phillipine blue swimming crab fishermen holding up entangled crab


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