Certification May Boost Crab Industry

Published 4:05 pm Thursday, March 29, 2012

Louisiana crabbers could see a boost in their business now that the Marine Stewardship Council has designated Louisiana blue crab as a “certified sustainable fishery.” Only two other crab fisheries in the United States can make that claim — the Atlantic deep-sea crab and the Oregon Dungeness crab.

      Louisiana blue crabs have been designated as a “certified sustainable fishery.”

      That means Louisiana blue crab will be marketed with a distinctive blue eco-label that is recognized around the world as a sign that the seafood meets the council’s standards for sustainable, well-managed fisheries.

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      This will allow Louisiana blue crab to be sold in restaurants and grocery chains that claim 100 percent sustainability, said Gary Bauer, chairman of the Crab Task Force, which sought the certification.

      The certification period is five years, and during that time, Louisiana still has to make some changes to satisfy the Marine Stewardship Council. For example, the state has to address what it would do if blue-crab fishing limits are met.

That’s where House Bill 528 comes in. It would give the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission the authority to close crab season if necessary to maintain future quantities, which is a reasonable step.