Industry News | March 15, 2012

Louisiana Crab Fishery Earns Sustainable Certification

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified the Louisiana Blue Crab Fishery as a sustainable and well-managed fishery. This great news affects 3,000 Louisiana blue crab commercial fishermen, represented by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB), who can tell buyers and consumers about the fishery’s positive development.

The independent, third-party certification body, Scientific Certification Systems, assessed the Louisiana blue crab fishery against the MSC standard in a rigorous, open, and transparent process that was scientifically peer reviewed and involved site visits to the fishery and outreach to stakeholder groups. 

During assessment, SCS identified six improvement actions the fishery must perform during the five-year period of certification that address harvest strategy, acquisition of additional data, bycatch, and ecosystem impact and progress will be assessed during the annual surveillance audits required by the MSC program.

“We are pleased to have worked so closely with members of the crab fishery and the LSPMB on this significant step forward for our industry,” says Randy Pausina, assistant secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF). “I would like to express my appreciation to the biologists who work at LDWF now and those who have in the past, because without the excellent management techniques that our department has implemented over the years, this certification would not be possible.”

“MSC certification is a major, positive development for thousands of Louisiana commercial blue crab fishermen, our processors and marketers, and the entire Gulf Region,” says Ewell Smith, executive director of the LSPMB. “MSC certification brings a new source of pride and confidence in Louisiana Seafood and it will help us assure buyers and consumers across the United States that Louisiana Seafood is sustainable.”

“Louisiana fishermen, families, and communities have been working hard to rebuild their livelihoods after the oil spill, and we are very proud that MSC certification will help in that process,” says Kerry Coughlin, MSC Americas regional director. “By voluntarily entering the Louisiana blue crab fishery into assessment when it did, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board showed its commitment to sustainability and preserving the livelihoods of commercial blue crab fishing.”

The fishery is managed by the state of Louisiana through its Wildlife and Fisheries Commission by the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Division of Marine Fisheries, in active consultation with industry via the Louisiana Blue Crab Task Force.

Louisiana blue crab is sold in the local and national domestic market and exported.