Last updated on 16 May 2017

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Chaceon quinquedens

SPECIES NAME(s)

Red crab, Atlantic deep-sea red crab

The Atlantic deep sea red crab (Chaceon quinquedens) is patchily distributed along the continental shelf edge and slope of the western Atlantic, primarily at depths of 400-1800 meters. Red crabs in the US waters outside the Gulf of Mexico are managed as a single stock located primarily in the Mid-Atlantic Bight to Gulf of Maine region, although red crabs in the Gulf of Maine are not considered in calculation of reference points, biomass estimates or other management analyses (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

The management unit specified in the Red Crab FMP includes red crab in U.S. waters of the Atlantic Ocean from 35˚ 15.3’ N. lat. (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, North Carolina) northward to the U.S./Canada border (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

Deep sea red crabs (Chaceon quinquedens) in the northwest Atlantic represent a data-poor stock because they inhabit deep water, are rarely caught in NMFS bottom trawl surveys, require targeted surveys to collect data on abundance, and little is known about their life history. Data from related species has been considered to make assumptions about the life history. Targeted surveys were conducted in 1974 (Wigley et al. 1975) and during 2003-2005 (Wahle et al. 2008). Two stock assessments have been completed for red crabs (Serchuk 1977; NEFSC 2006a, (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

Since implementation of the FMP in 2002, the biological and economic information about the red crab resource and fishery has been updated in the 2004 SAFE Report, through the 2006 Stock Assessment Workshop, and through the January 2009 DPSWG and Review Panel Report (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

This fishery was withdrawn by the Marine Stewardship Council system in September 2014. To learn more about this fishery click here (SCS 2012, 2013).


ANALYSIS

Weaknesses

The major fishery related uncertainties for red crab are discards, discard mortality, as well as historical and recent fishery size composition. In addition, the expected response of the stock to fishing in terms of growth and recruitment is uncertain (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

The infrequency of stock assessments is another key uncertainty. Only two stock assessments have been completed for deep-sea red crab off Southern New England (Serchuk 1977; NEFSC 2006a). Both were based on camera/trawl surveys completed just prior to the assessment (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

5.1

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

10

Future Health:

9.7


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs at http://www.sustainablefish.org/publications/2014/04/30/the-seafood-industry-guide-to-fips.
2. Communicate to fishery managers that there are sustainability issues in this fishery that may be affecting the sale of products, and request that they comprehensively evaluate and address such issues.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Encourage your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project. For advice on starting a FIP see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs at http://www.sustainablefish.org/publications/2014/04/30/the-seafood-industry-guide-to-fips.
2. Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supplier roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Atlantic Deep Sea Red Crab:

    Withdrawn

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
Southern New England/Mid Atlantic Southern New England/Mid Atlantic United States Pots

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 13 September 2016

Weaknesses
Southern New England/Mid Atlantic

Last updated on 13 September 2016

The major fishery related uncertainties for red crab are discards, discard mortality, as well as historical and recent fishery size composition. In addition, the expected response of the stock to fishing in terms of growth and recruitment is uncertain (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

The infrequency of stock assessments is another key uncertainty. Only two stock assessments have been completed for deep-sea red crab off Southern New England (Serchuk 1977; NEFSC 2006a). Both were based on camera/trawl surveys completed just prior to the assessment (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs at http://www.sustainablefish.org/publications/2014/04/30/the-seafood-industry-guide-to-fips.
2. Communicate to fishery managers that there are sustainability issues in this fishery that may be affecting the sale of products, and request that they comprehensively evaluate and address such issues.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Encourage your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project. For advice on starting a FIP see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs at http://www.sustainablefish.org/publications/2014/04/30/the-seafood-industry-guide-to-fips.
2. Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supplier roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT
Southern New England/Mid Atlantic

Last updated on 13 September 2016

Based on the most recent assessment, average fishing mortality rate (landings / fishable biomass) on male red crabs was estimated to be F=0.055 (SE 0.008) y-1 during 2003-2005 (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

Female biomass (total, 90+ and 114+ CW) increased substantially by 150%-250%. In contrast, total male biomass increased by only 75% and biomass of large (114+ CW) males decreased by about 43% (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE
Southern New England/Mid Atlantic

Last updated on 13 September 2016

It may be advisable to manage the areas north (Gulf of Maine) and south (Southern New England and Mid-Atlantic areas) as separate stocks (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

Minimum size regulations may be desirable and should be evaluated for use in the red crab fishery. Minimum size regulations are used with some success in many crab and lobster fisheries (NOAA 2009, 2010).

Reference Points

Last updated on 13 Sep 2016

The deep sea red crab fishery management plan (FMP) was implemented in 2002. The FMP set an MSY (2830 mt) based on the biomass of male red crabs over 102 mm in carapace width. Overfishing is considered to be occurring if catch>MSY, or a proxy thereof. The BMSY calculated for the FMP is 18,867 mt of males, and if biomass goes below ½ BMSY then the stock is considered overfished (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

The reference point used as a fishing mortality threshold is MSY = 2,830 mt (6.24 million pounds). The reference point used as a biomass target is BMSY = 18,867 mt (41.6 million pounds) of male red crabs 102+ mm CW (4” CW). The reference point used as a biomass threshold reference point ½ BMSY = 9,434 mt. A suggested CPUE baseline (presumably for use as a target) is 26-29 market-size crabs per trap, before adjustment for an equivalent number of 102 mm (4”) CW market-size crabs (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

CURRENT STATUS
Southern New England/Mid Atlantic

Last updated on 13 September 2016

The most recent assessment concluded that overfishing was not occurring because red crab landings during 2005 (2013 mt) were less than an MSY proxy (2830 mt, see below). Recent fishing mortality estimates were available but not used to determine overfishing because no F based reference point or proxy for FMSY was available. Stock abundance was higher in 2003-2005 than it was in 1974 and landings have been lower than the long-term average landings since 2005 (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

Trends

Last updated on 13 Sep 2016

This male-only fishery began in the late 1970’s. Quality of commercial landings data is variable. The most recent targeted survey (2003-2005) found that there had been a significant reduction in abundance of large male crabs since 1974. In 1974 the minimum acceptable marketable size was 114 mm carapace width (CW). In 2008 the minimum market size of landed crabs was less than 90 mm. The size distribution of the females did not change, indicating that the change in male size frequency was due to harvesting (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

A small experimental fishery for red crabs was established in the early 1970s. Before the initial targeted survey for red crabs (Wigley et al. 1975), fishery catches were small and sporadic. In the 1980s and 1990s, fishing effort was inconsistent due to market demand. A directed fishery for male red crabs and consistent markets developed in the mid-1990s. The current US fishery for male red crabs has limited entry and as of 2006 consisted of four or fewer vessels 30+ m long. The fishery uses specially designed traps almost exclusively, although small catches are taken also in lobster traps. Fishing occurs year round and catches are made mainly along the continental shelf from the Canadian border (Hague Line), at the eastern end of Georges Bank, to Cape Hatteras, NC, USA, in depths ranging from 400 to 800 m. Annual US commercial landings of red crabs during the period 1982–2005 ranged from 466 mt (1996) to 4000 mt (2001); there was no fishery in 1994. Since 2002, when the FMP was implemented, landings have been stable at about 2000 t per year. The current fishery is authorized to operate with a target TAC of 2688 mt, and an effort allocation of 780 days at sea. There is no recreational fishery for the species (NOAA 2009; NEFMC 2010).

In recent years, landings have decreased from over 4 million lb in 2005 to less than 3 million lb in 2007 and 2008 (NEFMC 2010).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT
Southern New England/Mid Atlantic

Last updated on 13 September 2016

The emergency action also established a new target TAC of 3.56 million lb and reduced the fleet DAS from 780 to 582. Other management measures that remain in place, and were not affected by the emergency action, include trip limits, trap/pot restrictions, a prohibition on landing more than an incidental level of female crabs (an experimental fishing permit currently in effect provides for limited harvesting of female crabs to support research on growth and fecundity), and restrictions on at-sea processing and mutilation. Specific permitting and reporting requirements were implemented by the FMP, including an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system for limited access vessels and VTRs that must be filled out by all vessels with a red crab permit (NEFMC 2010).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
Other Species
Southern New England/Mid Atlantic

Last updated on 13 September 2016

Red crab is caught incidentally in other fisheries, primarily in the offshore lobster fishery. As mentioned in the FMP, there may be considerable potential for bycatch of red crab in the offshore monkfish fishery, but the program under which monkfish trawl vessels would be allowed to fish in the primary red crab fishing area qualified zero vessels, significantly reducing the likelihood that monkfish vessels would impact the red crab resource (NEFMC 2010).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 18 January 2017

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2010 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Stock is not overfished. Estimates of exploitation of fishing mortality not conducted (NOAA, 2009)

As calculated for 2010 data.

The score is 5.1.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the ABC.

The Set TAC is 1.70 ('000 t). The ABC is 1.30 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/ABC for this index is 131%.

As calculated for 2010 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Harvesters comply with most regulations (Chaffee et al. 2009)

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2005 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the FSB as a percentage of the B=Bmsy.

The FSB is 36.0 ('000 t). The B=Bmsy is 18.9 .

The underlying FSB/B=Bmsy for this index is 191%.

As calculated for 2005 data.

The score is 9.7.

This measures the Harvest rate U as a percentage of the Target harvest rate U.

The Harvest rate U is 0.0600 . The Target harvest rate U is 0.105 .

The underlying Harvest rate U/Target harvest rate U for this index is 57.1%.

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
Southern New England/Mid Atlantic

Last updated on 13 September 2016

Note
SSB, fishing mortality, and other measures based on exploitable biomass for this male only fishery. (NEFMC, 2010)

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

Atlantic Deep Sea Red Crab

STATUS

Withdrawn on 4 September 2014

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species 80.63
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 92.50
Principle 3 – Management System 90.38

2014-09-12 11:18:18 - SFP changed status from MSC Certified to Withdrawn 2011-01-03 06:47:02 - SFP changed status from MSC Full Assessment to MSC Certified 2008-07-20 00:31:38 - Katrina Nakamura changed status from Preassessment started to MSC Full Assessment 2008-07-20 00:29:14 - Katrina Nakamura changed status from Unknown to Preassessment started 2008-07-20 00:28:58 - Katrina Nakamura created MSC Assessment Sheet

Certification Type:

Sources

Credits
  1. Chaffee,C. DeAlteris, J. Allen, R. 2009. MSC Assessment Report: The New England Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery. Scientific Certification Systems, Inc.http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/north-west-atlantic/Atlantic-deep-sea-red-crab/assessment-downloads-1/12.08.2009-Red-Crab-Final-Determination.pdf

  2. NEFMC, 2010. 2010 Fishing Year Specifications (March 1, 2010 – February 28, 2011) and Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report. New England Fishery Management Council.http://nefmc.org/crab/specs/2010%20SAFE%20and%20Specs%201-6-2010%20_2_.pdf

  3. NOAA, 2009. The Northeast Data Poor Stocks Working Group Report December 8-12, 2008 Meeting, Part A: Skate species complex, deep sea red crab, Atlantic wolffish, scup, and black sea bass. NOAA/NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document 09-02ahttp://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd0902/crd0902.pdf

  4. Scientific Certification Systems, 2012. Atlantic Deep Sea Red Crab: 3rd Year MSC Surveillance Audit Report. December 2012. 34pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/north-west-atlantic/Atlantic-deep-sea-red-crab/assessment-downloads-1/20130103_SR_CRA7.pdf

  5. Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), 2013. Atlantic Deep Sea Red Crab 2013 4th MSC Surveillance Audit Report. November 2013. 22pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/north-west-atlantic/Atlantic-deep-sea-red-crab/assessment-downloads-1/20131117_SR_CRA7.pdf

References

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