Last updated on 27 September 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Callinectes sapidus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Blue crab

Blue crab Callinectes sapidus has a broad latitudinal distribution, from Nova Scotia, to northern Argentina, including Bermuda and the Antilles. In the Gulf of Mexico, two stocks are considered to exist; an NE Gulf of Mexico stock along Florida state coast up to the Apalachee Bay, and a “NW Gulf of Mexico stock” occurring from Apalachicola Bay, Florida, to the west of the gulf, based on genetic and phylogenetic analysis (GDAR, 2013). However, the connection between the western stock and the southern distribution in Mexican waters is uncertain (GDAR, 2013). Therefore, Blue crab fisheries in Mexican waters may be part of the western stock.


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. A large portion of the overall stock (by landings) is MSC Certified.
  • The primary gear used in this fishery has little habitat impacts and is highly selective for the targeted species or size.
Weaknesses
  • Stock is currently mainly controlled by effort (number of traps fished, number of licenses, size limits) with no quota management.
  • Managers have yet to adopt formal reference points.
  • Some indication of a retrospective pattern in the assessment, but minimal. Stock is below biomass (abundance) target.
  • Some interaction with protected species particularly turtles.
  • Certification is conditional on a number of issues, most centered around the effectiveness of current management as quotas are not used and also conditions placed on verifying interactions with River otters and Terrapin.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 8

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 8

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

7.5

Future Health:

9.3


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Work actively to address and close out conditions placed upon the certification of the US fishery in the agreed timeframe.
2. Report achievements publicly to share progress with buyers.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the certification of the US fishery and if agreed timelines are met.
2. Express your support to help meet conditions that may be at a government/regulatory level (where applicable).


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Louisiana blue crab:

    MSC Certified

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
U.S. NW Gulf of Mexico Alabama/GSFMC United States Traps
Louisiana/GSFMC United States Traps
Texas/GSFMC United States Traps

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Strengths
  • Stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. A large portion of the overall stock (by landings) is MSC Certified.
  • The primary gear used in this fishery has little habitat impacts and is highly selective for the targeted species or size.
Weaknesses
  • Stock is currently mainly controlled by effort (number of traps fished, number of licenses, size limits) with no quota management.
  • Managers have yet to adopt formal reference points.
  • Some indication of a retrospective pattern in the assessment, but minimal. Stock is below biomass (abundance) target.
  • Some interaction with protected species particularly turtles.
Louisiana/GSFMC
  • Certification is conditional on a number of issues, most centered around the effectiveness of current management as quotas are not used and also conditions placed on verifying interactions with River otters and Terrapin.
RECOMMENDATIONS
Louisiana/GSFMC

Last updated on 28 June 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Work actively to address and close out conditions placed upon the certification of the US fishery in the agreed timeframe.
2. Report achievements publicly to share progress with buyers.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the certification of the US fishery and if agreed timelines are met.
2. Express your support to help meet conditions that may be at a government/regulatory level (where applicable).

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 28 February 2014

A new peer reviewed assessment was introduced in June 2013. This assessment is a two-stage model based on size and age. the model captures uncertainty and provides MSY based reference points as well as stock status relative to those reference points (GDAR, 2013).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 28 February 2014

Stock was recently assessed in June 2013. Management however has yet to implement the scientific advice on reference points. prior to this, management utilized min size and other effort controls based on scientific advise (GDAR, 2013). Current approach tends to over estimate F and under estimate Numbers in the terminal year. however this is relatively small bias.

Reference Points

Last updated on 28 Feb 2014

Reference points have not yet been adopted by management. However the most recent assessment recommended a number of MSY based reference points including N of adults at MSY (N MSY ) F at MSY and others (GDAR, 2013)

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 28 February 2014

Stock appears to be in good shape with overfishing not occurring and not being overfished (GDAR, 2013). However stock is estimated to be below the target NMSY.

Trends

Last updated on 28 Feb 2014

Stock biomass and numbers appears to be variable but generally is lower than historical (pre-1990) stock appears also to have declined from a recent high point in 2005 (GDAR, 2013). Fishing mortality rate has also been variable, but is lower than 1997-2005 time period.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 28 February 2014

Management by effort controls including minimum sizes, trap limits, gear restrictions, and allowed days to fish. Quotas are not in place. Managers have yet to implement the MSY based reference points as advised by the most recent assessment in 2013.

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 28 Feb 2014

A recovery plan is not in place.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 28 February 2014

Quotas are not in place, but illegal fishing is thought to be minimal given extensive monitoring (SCS, 2012).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 3 April 2012

Listed as a Category II fishery which means “occasional incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals” Conditional Factor for MSC certification because of sea otter and possible Terrapin interactions.

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

MSC Conditions applied. Harvest controls rules in place, but their effectiveness has not been measured.

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

Managers follow scientific advice.

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

Quotas are not in place, but illegal fishing is thought to be minimal given extensive monitoring.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 7.5.

This measures the Abundance as a percentage of the MSY Btrigger.

The Abundance is 75.0 (M individuals). The MSY Btrigger is 85.4 (M individuals) .

The underlying Abundance/MSY Btrigger for this index is 87.9%.

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 9.3.

This measures the F as a percentage of the Fmsy.

The F is 1.08 (age-averaged). The Fmsy is 1.58 .

The underlying F/Fmsy for this index is 68.4%.

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES

Most recent assessment as of June 2013. Stock size as millions of adult fish, MSY is also in numbers at MSY. However catch is as 1000’s of tonnes.

Louisiana/GSFMC

Catches refer to Louisiana state.

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

Louisiana blue crab

STATUS

MSC Certified on 9 March 2012

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species 81.5
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 83.3
Principle 3 – Management System 86.9

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

Credits
  1. GDAR, 2013. Stock Assessment Report Gulf of Mexico Blue Crab. Gulf Data, Assessment, and Review Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissionhttp://www.gsmfc.org/publications/GSMFC%20Number%20215.pdf
  2. GSFMC, 2001. The Blue Crab Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico, United States: a Regional Management plan. Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.http://www.gsmfc.org/publications/GSMFC%20Number%20096.pdf
  3. INP, 2000a. Carta Nacional Pesquera. Instituto Nacional de la Pesca, México.http://www.inapesca.gob.mx/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=&func=startdown&id=120
  4. INP, 2000b. La Pesquería de Jaibe del Golfo de México y Mar Caribe. Instituto Nacional de la Pesca, México.http://www.inp.sagarpa.gob.mx/Publicaciones/sustentabilidad/Golfo/JAIBAGOLFO.pdf
  5. INP, 2004. Carta Nacional Pesquera Actualización. Instituto Nacional de la Pesca, México.http://www.inapesca.gob.mx/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=&func=startdown&id=121
  6. INP, 2006. Carta Nacional Pesquera. Instituto Nacional de la Pesca, México.http://www.inapesca.gob.mx/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=124&Itemid=124
  7. McMillen-Jackson AL & Bert TM, 2004. Mitochondrial DNA variation and population genetic structure of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus in the eastern United States. Marine Biology 145:769-777.http://www.earthscape.org/r1/ES16056/mitochondrial.pdf
  8. Morgan, S., Daume, S. 2013. Louisiana Blue Crab: 2013 MSC First Surveillance Audit Report. Scientific Certification Systems, April 2013. 32pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/western-central-atlantic/louisiana_blue_crab/assessment-downloads-1/20130411_SR_CRA200.pdf
  9. Murphy, M. McMillen-Jackson, A. Mahmoudi, B. 2007. A stock assessment for blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, in Florida waters. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissionhttp://www.fwc.state.fl.us/media/316334/StockAssessment2007.pdf
  10. Powles, H., Scott, I., 2014. Surveillance Report Louisiana Blue Crab Fishery. Intertek Fisheries Certification Ltd, October 2014. 49pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/western-central-atlantic/louisiana_blue_crab/assessment-downloads-1/20141016_SR_CRA200.pdfRocha-Ramírez A, Cházaro-Olvera S & Mueller-Meier PM, 1992. Ecología del Género Callinectes (Brachyura: Portunidae) en Seis Cuerpos de Agua Costeros del Estado de Veracruz, México. Anales del Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología. http://biblioweb.dgsca.unam.mx/cienciasdelmar/instituto/1992-1/articulo402.html
  11. Rosas-Correa CO & Jesús-Navarrete A, 2008. Population parameters of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus (Rathbun, 1896) in Chetumal Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía 43(2): 247-253.http://redalyc.uaemex.mx/redalyc/html/479/47943202/47943202.html
  12. SCS. 2012 MSC Final Report Louisiana Blue Crab Fishery. Scientific Certification Systems http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/western-central-atlantic/louisiana_blue_crab/assessment-downloads-1/20120216_Final_report.pdf
  13. Sutton, G. Wagner, T. 2007. Stock Assesment of Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) in Texas Coastal Waters. Texas Parks and Wildlifehttp://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_rp_v3400_1440.pdf
  14. UJAT—SEDAFOP, 2006. Informe final - Proyecto Jaiba. Estudios Realizados para la Secretaria de Desarrollo Agropecuario, Forestal y Pesca. http://www.oeidrustab.gob.mx/paquete_basico/banners/ujat/informe_final_proyecto_jaiba.pdf
References

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    Blue crab - U.S. NW Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana/GSFMC, United States, Traps

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