Summary

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Paralithodes camtschaticus

SPECIES NAME(S)

Red king crab, Камчатский краб

The stock structure of red king crab crab is unknown but units are assessed and managed separately: Kamchatka-Kurils and Western Kamchatka (MARF, 2014).


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Sustainability strengths unknown, but crab populations persist, and Russia’s king crab resource has continued to produce more than half the U.S. supply.
  • The world’s largest population of king crab occurs off the west coast of Kamchatka in the Sea of Okhotsk.
  • Laws and management rules, while not precautionary, are considered appropriate.
Weaknesses
  • Monitoring and enforcement are poor.
  • Stock abundance and removals are not well documented. Bycatch controls lack teeth.

SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 8

Managers Compliance:

≥ 8

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

NO SCORE

Future Health:

NO SCORE


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Regulators and CCA should regularly undertake and publish official estimation of IUU crab fishing and trade levels, and evaluate performance of bilateral agreements between Russia and its trade partners on the eradication of IUU crab fishing and trade.
2. Implement standardized crab stock assessment methodologies and investigate implementation of a precautionary approach to crab fisheries management based on Biological Reference Points (BRPs) and Harvest Control Rules (HCRs).
3. Enhance public availability of crab stock assessment and fisheries management data and decisions.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Be aware of and support the Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) run by the Russian Far East Crab Catchers Association (CCA), and encourage more Russian catchers to join CCA and participate in the FIP.
2. Encourage CCA to continue its progress with the FIP work, in particular by taking full ownership of it, adopting a new work plan based on results of planned pre-assessment and reporting its results publicly.
3. Encourage regulators and trade bodies to publish their work on the eradication of IUU crab fishing and trade, including, in particular, implementation of the Russian NPOA-IUU and related bilateral agreements.
4. Request your suppliers to join SFP’s Russian Far East Crab Supply Chain Roundtable (http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-improvement/crabs/russian-far-east-crabs/russian-far-east-crabs).


FIPS

  • Russian Far East Crab:

    Stage 5, Progress Rating B

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

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
Western Kamchatka Russia Western Kamchatka Russian Federation Pots

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 29 August 2013

Strengths
  • Sustainability strengths unknown, but crab populations persist, and Russia’s king crab resource has continued to produce more than half the U.S. supply.
  • The world’s largest population of king crab occurs off the west coast of Kamchatka in the Sea of Okhotsk.
  • Laws and management rules, while not precautionary, are considered appropriate.
Weaknesses
  • Monitoring and enforcement are poor.
  • Stock abundance and removals are not well documented. Bycatch controls lack teeth.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 28 June 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Regulators and CCA should regularly undertake and publish official estimation of IUU crab fishing and trade levels, and evaluate performance of bilateral agreements between Russia and its trade partners on the eradication of IUU crab fishing and trade.
2. Implement standardized crab stock assessment methodologies and investigate implementation of a precautionary approach to crab fisheries management based on Biological Reference Points (BRPs) and Harvest Control Rules (HCRs).
3. Enhance public availability of crab stock assessment and fisheries management data and decisions.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Be aware of and support the Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) run by the Russian Far East Crab Catchers Association (CCA), and encourage more Russian catchers to join CCA and participate in the FIP.
2. Encourage CCA to continue its progress with the FIP work, in particular by taking full ownership of it, adopting a new work plan based on results of planned pre-assessment and reporting its results publicly.
3. Encourage regulators and trade bodies to publish their work on the eradication of IUU crab fishing and trade, including, in particular, implementation of the Russian NPOA-IUU and related bilateral agreements.
4. Request your suppliers to join SFP’s Russian Far East Crab Supply Chain Roundtable (http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-improvement/crabs/russian-far-east-crabs/russian-far-east-crabs).

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 19 December 2007

No formal stock assessment is known. Estimates of abundance and removals are considered unreliable, in part due to reports of large illegal harvests (See Compliance section).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 19 December 2007

With no publicly available stock assessment and no reliable estimates of abundance or removals, it is difficult to evaluate whether scientists are offering precautionary advice on harvest limits.

REFERENCE POINTS

Last updated on 18 December 2007

No reference points are known for biomass or removals.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 28 August 2012

The crab population off western Kamchatka is depleted and unstable, although there are signs of recovery in some areas (FafF, 2012).

TRENDS

Last updated on 28 August 2012

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reported that Russian king crab grounds in the Russian Far East were fully exploited in the mid-1990s.

The western Kamchatka population decreased from 1999 to 2003, and particularly the proportions of pre-recruits have remained low ever since. During the past five years, periods of stability have alternated with rapid shifts in the number of females. A ban on fishing was introduced in the 2005-2006 season, and a recovery in all size-groups was observed in 2008 but this recovery has not been consistent in all areas (FAfF, 2012).

In the absence of reliable production estimates, some indication of volume trends can be derived from trade statistics. Imports of Russian red king crab declined in the U.S. during the late 1990s. However, Russian king and snow crab supplies may have increased. They are important in the U.S. and they “now dominate the Japanese frozen crab market,” according to Infofish.org, an FAO-launched service for marketing and technical advice in the Asia-Pacific Region. Infofish reports that Russian landings of red king crab in the Barents Sea during Q1 2007 were 900 t, a 71% decline compared to the same period in 2006. However Russian exports of king crab to Japan and the U.S. have apparently increased. According to Infofish, Japanese imports of Russian king crab increased to 13,130 t in 2006, up from 7,798 in 2005 and 6,808 t in 2004. U.S. imports of Russian king crab amounted to 25,547 t in 2006, up from 17,031 t in 2005 and 9,530 t in 2004.
(SOURCE: http://www.infofish.org/marketreports/crab0607.html)

Other sources confirm the rise in U.S imports of Russian king crab. Theyclimbed from an average of 22.5 million pounds during 2000-2004 to 41 million pounds in 2005, and the trend continued in 2006, according to a report published by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (http://www.alaskaseafood.org/fishingprocessing/seafoodweb_oct06/octoberstories/crab.html).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGERS' DECISIONS

Last updated on

Total allowable landing quotas are set but the western Kamchatka fishery has been closed since 2005-2006. A closure during the spawning season (May to August) was previously in place since 1996 (Slizkin, 2000). Government has reduced domestic fleet quotas and curtailed access by foreign fleets in recent years. Enforcement reportedly was lax for years, permitted harvests far in excess of quota. Recent reports point to an effort to strengthen enforcement and centralize management authority (See Compliance section) under federal control.

In May 2007 the Russian government published new fishing regulations for the Russian Far East, including a measure banning exports of live crab.
Infofish.org, an FAO-launched service providing marketing and technical advice on Asia-Pacific fisheries, reports: “Informed sources believe that Moscow is trying to reinforce its resource conservation and prevent illegal fishing activities.” (http://www.infofish.org/marketreports/crab0607.html)

RECOVERY PLANS

Last updated on 28 August 2012

The commercial fishery is closed since 2005-2006 but the stock can not yet be considered to be recovered.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 28 August 2012

Monitoring of removals has been reported to be weak and evidence of over-quota harvests has been noted for years. Reported imports to Japan and South Korea in 2011 are twice the level of the TACs for the Far Eastern Basin (FAfF, 2012). There is also a large amount of deliberate bycatch by the queen crab fishery, which positions its vessels such as to optimize catches of the more expensive king crab (FAfF, 2012).

However, some observers believe enforcement may be getting tougher. Illegal catches by vessels with flags of convenience is a significant problem, but catches by these vessels are believed to have decreased slightly (FAfF, 2012).

Signs of tougher enforcement have been noted recently. In May 2007, the Russian government banned exports of live crab from Russian waters (http://www.infofish.org/marketreports/crab0607.html), apparently targeting trade bound for Japan. In September 2007, Russian police arrested the owner of U.S. based company Global Fishing, for allegedly exporting 15,000 t of illegally caught king crab from Russia (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004010535_russiancrab13m.html). In November 2007, Peter Redmayne reported in Seafood Business that Russia’s Border Guard “has also been crackign down in an operation dubbed ‘Crab 2007.’” Redmayne noted that President Putin recently “reasserted federal power over fisheris by bringing back the Soviet-era State Fisheries Committee and giving it responsibility for fisheries management.”
(http://www.seafoodbusiness.com/index.asp?ItemID=3550&rcid=201&pcid=200&cid=201)

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

ETP SPECIES

Last updated on 18 December 2007

Closed areas are the only known measure to protect vulnerable species. Status of ETP stocks and efficacy of protective measures are unknown.

OTHER TARGET AND BYCATCH SPECIES

Last updated on 18 December 2007

Actual bycatch rates are unknown because of poor reporting and compliance. However, bycatch restrictions apply both to crab fisheries and to other fisheries that take crab as bycatch. In the crab fleet, regulations limit bycatch of other species to 8% of total catch per day, with the take of immature and female crab limited to 0.2% per day. Regulations limit bycatch of crabs in trawl and other fleets to 2% of total harvests. Trawl vessels caught with illegal bycatch are required to move five miles from their present position. However, monitoring and enforcement of these measures is weak. Vessels operating in the Sea of Okhotsk are required to provide catch and effort data electronically, and their position is tracked by GPS. Even so, fraudulent reporting and illegal fishing are common, and vessel bycatch limits are believed to be exceeded frequently.

HABITAT

Last updated on 18 December 2007

Regulations prohibit trawl gear on crab grounds, and closed zones have been instituted for habitat protection. Bycatch limits, quotas and other restrictions also exist. However, enforcement is weak.

MARINE RESERVES

Last updated on 28 August 2012

Two areas exist where no fishing is permitted (North and Hayryuzovsky Forbidden Areas) (FAfF, 2012).

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

A new standard crab stock assessment methodology, including application of a precautionary approach with reference points and a Harvest Control Rule (HCR), was developed in 2015 by the VNIRO Research Institute in cooperation with the Fishery Agency. However, its implementation is only about to start. Total Allowable Catch (TAC) definition oscillates with stock status in order to protect the resources from Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) situations and promote sustainable fisheries (Muran and Flake, 2012). When a stock state is in an unsatisfactory condition, a TAC is established at a "precautionary" level - 5% of fishable biomass (males). When rebuilding of a stock is required, the TAC is established at '0' and the fishery is closed. Other measures are implemented: juveniles or non-commercial crabs should be returned immediately to the sea as well as all crab species not listed in the vessel fishing license. Females cannot be retained onboard (Ministry of Agriculture Order No. 396 of 21 Dec 2013). A closed area to the North of 56°20'N and a closed season for the entire subzone from 1st Jan to 31st Aug are established in order to reduce opportunity for misreporting of catches, large bycatch level of one target species when fishing for other target species, and to protect crabs during the moulting period (Current RFE fishing regulations, Articles 13 and 15).

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

The Federal Fisheries Agency (FFA) centralizes marine resources’ assessment, management and regulation. Total Allowable Catch (TAC) proposals submitted to FFA are then scrutinized on a participatory process that auscultates non-governmental entities and the industry. The State Ecological Expertise (SEE) under the Ministry of Natural Resources, and composed of independent scientists, reviews the proposal. The TAC is finally set and formally published each year in _Orders_, since 2012 by the Ministry of Agriculture (PURFC, 2012). To protect the stock from overfishing, fishing areas are delimited since January 2015 (SFP, 2015).

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Catches are below the catch limit but illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and trade are a concern. Minimum daily catch limits are set to prevent misreporting of daily catches (vessels of 34-65m length). In December 2013, under the Fishing Industry Development Federal Program, a National Plan to combat IUU fishing was also implemented (WWF, 2014). Since 2009 (Russian Federation Ordinance No. 990 of 24 Dec 2008) all fishing products caught within the Russian territory have to pass through customs procedure to be declared. All vessels operating in Russian waters are monitored through satellite. An electronic logbook system and electronic permissions are being tested (Muran and Flake, 2012; PCA, 2012). Bilateral international trade agreements with the main importing countries were one of the solutions found to decrease this issue (South Korea, China, North Korea, Japan, Canada, US) (Muran and Flake, 2012; WWF, 2014; SFP, 2015).

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2015 data.

This measures the as a percentage of the .

The is . The is .

The underlying / for this index is .

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE RISK

High Medium Low

This indicates the potential risk of human rights abuses for all fisheries operating within this stock or assessment unit. If there are more than on risk level noted, individual fisheries have different levels. Click on the "Select Scores" drop-down list for your fisheries of interest.

No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for recruitment
No data available for stock status
DATA NOTES

1) TACs and catches are for Okhotsk and Bering Seas. Values quoted as TACs include catch for scientific research.
2) Scores have been determined qualitatively, based on available information.

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

SELECT FIP

Access FIP Public Report

Progress Rating: B
Evaluation Start Date: 1 Jun 2012
Type: Fip

Comments:

Progress rating remains B. Last stage 5 achievement in January 2017 - reduction of IUU fishing and trade significantlly reduced reported in 2017 due to the implementation of bilateral agreements with South Korea, Japan and China requiring Russia to issue certificates of catch origin and by agreement partners

1.
FIP Development
Dec 15
2.
FIP Launch
Jan 12
Apr 14
3.
FIP Implementation
Jul 17
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
Jun 17
5.
Improvements on the Water
Jan 17
6.
MSC certification (optional)
MSC certificate made public

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

Bjordal, Å., 2002. The use of technical measures in responsible fisheries: regulation of fishing gear. In: Cochrane, K.L. (ed.), 2002. A fishery manager’s guidebook. Management measures and their application. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper no. 424. Rome, FAO. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/004/y3427e/y3427e00.pdf

Federal Agency for Fisheries (FAfF), 2012. Press centre 04/10/2012: King crab: recipe for survival from science [via Google Translate]. http://fish.gov.ru/presscentre/smi_review/Pages/010519.aspx

Fishnews, 2006. On approval of total allowable catches of aquatic biological resources in 2007. http://www.fishnews.ru/news/848

Fishres, 2008. Kamchatka crab - on the last breath. http://fishres.ru/news/news.php?id=8623

Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation (MARF), 2014. Confirming TACs for coastal waters, territorial seas, the continental shelf, the EEZ, and the Caspian and Azov Seas of the Russian Federation for 2015. Regulation No. 339. October 21, 2014. 9pp. https://fishnews-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/docs/783/prikaz_ob_utverzhdenii_odu_na_2015_g.pdf

Ocean Atlas Fact Sheet http://www.oceansatlas.org

Pautzke, C.G. 1997. Russian Far East Fisheries Management. Produced by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council – NOAA Coop. Agreement #97-NA77FC006, 30 September. http://www.fao.org/fi/fcp/en/RUS/profile.htm

Primorsky, undated. Information to proposals for changes in fishing regulations for the fishery in the Far East basin. http://www.primorsky.ru/files/6424.doc

Seafoodwatch Fact Sheets http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_factsheet.aspx?gid=8

Slizkin A. Safronov, S. 2000. Kamchatka crab fishing waters. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky publishing "North Pacific" [via Google Translate]. http://www.npacific.ru/np/library/publikacii/krab/04_1.htm

Topnews, 2008. Production volume of king crab decline by almost 20%. http://100.topnews.ru/count.php?id=18

Traffic Fact Sheet http://www.traffic.org/

WWF Russia Fact Sheet http://www.wwf.ru/eng/

References

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    Red king crab - Western Kamchatka

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