Australia – Pot – Pseudocarcinus gigas – FAO 57 (Indian Ocean, Eastern)
Fishery client: Ferguson Australia Proprietary Ltd. Fishing area: FAO 57, Southern Australia Waters. Fishing vessels: The Company has a fleet of 60 vessels used in the fishing of several species. Vessels audited on site as fleet samples: M341-1; Explorer S; M342; N070; N004; N040; M184; M368; M404. Fishing method: Pot. Certified species: Scientific name: Pseudocarcinus gigas;
Common name: Giant crab.
The Australian Fish Monitoring Authority (AFMA) and Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) monitor the fisheries in the Southern Australia Waters. Measures are in place to make sure that overfishing is unlikely such as the total allowable commercial catch (TACC), limited entry into the fishery (license limit), prohibition on the retention of berried females, minimum catch size of 15 cm, spatial closures, and capacity restrictions.
Stock status summary
According to the South Australian Giant Crab Fishery Status Report 2013/2014, the stock is considered undefined, which indicates that not enough information exists to determine stock status. The company ensures that the Giant crab market is small and a controlled fishing effort based on a defined quota of crabs is used to restrain the exploitation of stocks.
Bycatch / discards
Due to the highly selective nature of the fishing gear used in the Giant crab fisheries, discards are very low and undersized individuals are returned unharmed. The little bycatch is used as bait or sold. However, discards are not recorded.
Giant crab are caught with pots, which is a passive fishing gear or have no negative interaction with the seabed. Such pots have escape hatches and metal spikes to keep seals out. Another positive aspect is that all vessels are covered by the “Clean Green” certification, which includes measures and protocol for waste disposal in the appropriate location.
Social Accountability performance
The fleet complies with the human rights and Australian regulations.
Conclusion with reasons for approval
The fleet complies with Friend of the Sea requirements, without any major non-conformities for Giant crab. The auditor established a specific recommendation for the staff: they should provide specific data on the stock status as soon as they become available.
Gear type: Pot Fishing Area: FAO Area 27 (ICES 1a and 1b)
Fishery management: The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) is the competent regional organisation for fisheries management in the region (FAO Statistical Area 27). NEAFC takes advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the intergovernmental organisation conducting research on marine resources in the North Atlantic.
The Norwegian Fisheries Directorate is responsible for the management of fisheries resources. The red king crab stock is managed by dividing the fishery area in two management zones: one is subjected to quotas set to maximise the economic yield, and one is an open access area, where catch is completely unregulated.
The red king crab was intentionally introduced into the Barents Sea in the 1960s to establish a pot fishery and increase the economic opportunities for local communities. Because of its status as an invasive alien species, abundance, fishing mortality, and vulnerability in FAO Area 27 (ICES 1a and 1b) are not of concern.
Habitat impact and discards:
The use of trap gear (i.e. pot) has negligible impact on benthic ecosystems.
Discards mostly consist on damaged individuals with lower commercial value. All discards are reported and unloaded.
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