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Crab Council

NFI Crab Council Announces New Member AquaStar

February 10, 2016 Washington, D.C.- AquaStar has signed on as a member to the National Fisheries Institute’s Crab Council. The Seattle-based seafood company produces, manufactures and sources a diverse assortment of product offerings that supply both food service and retail customers.Started in 1990, AquaStar produces, manufactures and sources premium frozen seafood maintaining close relationships with international suppliers. Their expansive line of crab products covers multiple species with in-shell cuts, crab meat and value-added preparations.“With on-the-ground employees in 17 countries, AquaStar values our product source,” said Senior Vice President of Procurement Carlos Faria. “In joining the Crab Council, we are taking one step closer to our product, ensuring that blue swimming crab is being harvested and managed responsibly.”Already, AquaStar has established an active role within the Crab Council, designating Corporate Director of Sustainability David Martin to work closely with Crab Council leadership on key issues. In addition, Martin’s years as North Pacific Improvements Director with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership further reinforces the consulting relationship between the council and the seafood focused NGO. TheCrab Council assesses its members on every pound of blue swimming crab imported with the collected revenue funding fishery management efforts in Southeast Asia. Since forming, the Crab Council has more than doubled its membership.“With each new member, the Crab Council expands its capabilities,” said Crab Council Chairman Brendan Sweeny. “We are an industry-led effort and need full industry support for success. AquaStar’s commitment strengthens the council and helps bring sustainability to the forefront of the blue swimming crab importing community.” For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com. ###

NFI Crab Council Announces New Member Byrd International

December 3, 2015 Washington, DC – The Crab Council welcomes Byrd International as the latest member in its industry-led sustainability effort. With the addition of Byrd International, the Crab Council expands its membership to twenty companies, representing a firm majority of the imported blue swimming crab market.  Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Byrd International has supplied high-quality pasteurized crabmeat since 1995. Sourcing from the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, Byrd produces its premium quality crab meat at its company owned state-of-the-art facilities. “At Byrd, we take pride in the consistent quality of our crab meat,” says President Tom Ruark. “We want to guarantee our customers that the choice products we provide today will be available for years to come. We support the Crab Council’s sustainability mission and join them in funding these essential fishery improvement projects.” Byrd’s inclusion in the Crab Council comes at a pivotal juncture for the importing group. In November, the Crab Council hosted the first Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) conference in Bangkok, Thailand, a two day program that examined stock assessments, fishery governance and scientific perspectives on stock enhancement. Also discussed was the Council’s new Control Document approach, a supply chain monitoring system currently being pilot tested in Indonesia, that restricts the catch of berried and undersized crabs through auditable control points. “In the last few months, the Crab Council has made great strides in increasing communication and progress sharing between FIPs as well as renewing its focus on harvest and sourcing methods,” said NFI Chairman Brendan Sweeny. “Byrd International’s membership provides a boost of support from a major crab importer. The Crab Council is excited to have Byrd’s backing as we continue to grow our sustainability mission.” The NFI Crab Council was founded in 2009 and funds Blue Swimming Crab sustainability projects through contributions from participating companies and has received grants from the World Bank and the Walton Family Foundation.  For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com. ###

Bangkok Crab Symposium Highlights Focus on Sustainability

November 19, 2015 Bangkok, Thailand – The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and 50in10, along with support from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, have concluded the Regional Asian Blue Swimming Crab Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. The three-day meeting included a review of FIP progress, a look at stock assessments, a review of fishery governance and scientific perspectives on stock enhancement.“The summit could have lasted a week and not covered everything that’s going on in the world of Blue Swimming Crab sustainability,” said NFI Crab Council Chairman Brendan Sweeny from Handy International. “Many attendees told me they had their eyes opened to the volume of work and level of commitment focused on this effort.”The meeting, filled to capacity, was moderated by 50in10’s Corey Peet.  “The importance of meetings like this can’t be underestimated,” said Peet. “This was a tremendous opportunity to illustrate to a variety of stakeholders not only the role of FIPs in supporting a sustainable future for Blue Swimming Crab, but also the growing requirements from the marketplace beyond environmental improvement.”Organizations that presented at the conference included the Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab Product Association, Philippine Association of Crab Processors, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, Seafood Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka, Thai Frozen Foods Association, Thai Union, NFI Crab Council, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, WWF, Marine Stewardship Council, SSG Advisors, Bon Appetite Management Company, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Murdoch University and The Smithsonian Institute. “This event was not only important to connect scientists, industry and NGOs in order to coordinate their work on the ground,” said Sweeny. “But also to help them translate that work to the marketplace. It’s essential that restaurant and retail customers know what’s going on in Blue Swimming Crab sustainability so they can make informed decisions.”

NFI Crab Council Signs MOU with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

Sustainability Organization to Assist in Supply Chain Management Pilot November 16, 2015 (WASHINGTON) –The National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) Crab Council has signed an agreement with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership that formalizes a relationship of collaboration and common-interest for Blue Swimming Crab sustainability. The memorandum of understanding between the industry trade group and seafood NGO establishes areas of cooperation that will lead to the strengthening of fishery improvement projects, sharing of stock analysis information and piloting of new supply chain oversight work. Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) provides strategic and technical guidance to global seafood suppliers, producers and retailers. An important advisor to the Crab Council since the Council’s formation, SFP’s support comes at the beginning of a new chapter for the industry-led crab sustainability organization.“SFP’s understanding of a fishery’s ecology and economy is a rare, essential combination,” said NFI Chairman Brendan Sweeny. “Their balanced approach is exactly the kind of counsel the Crab Council needs as we explore and test new methods of sourcing control.”The NFI Crab Council funds fisheries improvement efforts in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. To better influence responsible harvest practices in these fisheries, the Crab Council has begun pilot testing of a Control Document. Designed with consultation from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, the Control Document restricts the catch of berried and undersized crabs with measures that establish control points throughout the supply chain which are subject to inspection by a third party auditor.“The Crab Council has been at the forefront of industry-driven sustainability,” said SFP President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Cannon. “As they continue to innovate with supply management, we look forward to refining the blueprint and eventually expanding a well-vetted, practically applied version into a fishery-wide standard.” For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com. ###

NFI Crab Council Announces New Member

Lawrence Street Seafood Joins Crab Sustainability Group September 22, 2015 Washington, DC – The National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) Crab Council has added new member, Lawrence Street Seafood Co. Inc, expanding their roster of sustainably-minded crab importers to 19 companies.Established in 1994, Lawrence Street Seafood is a premium seafood wholesaler and distributor offering a full line of fresh and frozen seafood products. Located in the Liberty Fish building, Lawrence Street Seafood is headquartered in Philadelphia’s historic Food Distribution Center. Over the past two decades, Lawrence Street Seafood has evolved from a small local wholesaler to the national distributor and exclusive importer of Seachest™ brand products.Seachest™ offers a full line of Indonesian blue swimming crab (Portunus Pelagicus) in the traditional grades available to independent retailers as well as regional and national distributors and wholesalers throughout the continental US.In 2015, Lawrence Street Seafood expanded the Seachest™ brand to include Canadian lobster tails, lobster meat, and fresh day boat Halibut from a small artisanal fishery. Moving forward, Lawrence Street Seafood intends to diversify the Seachest™ product line by supporting healthy resources with responsible harvest and production methods while maintaining the highest quality specifications.“For years, Lawrence Street Seafood has been known for the consistency and quality of our products,” said President & CEO Bernard Grogan. “We are perhaps not as well known for our focus on blue swimming crab sustainability. Membership in the NFI Crab Council illustrates that commitment. Talking about sustainability and educating people about it are important but committing a portion of your sales to it is quite literally putting your money where your mouth is.”Grogan owns a fully integrated, multifaceted seafood operation with a wholesale business, warehousing facilities, and retail stores. The warehousing outlet, Lawrence Warehousing Co. Inc, handles over 250,000 lbs. of seafood a day for other local and regional businesses. Hill’s Quality Seafood Markets is a retail operation with 4 locations in the Delaware and Chester county areas, offering customers a wide selection of high quality seafood.NFI Crab Council Chairman Brendan Sweeny views the Lawrence Street Seafood addition as a well-timed expansion.“Lawrence Street Seafood’s addition comes at an exciting time for the Crab Council,” said Sweeny. “As an organization, we are on the verge of moving forward with sourcing and fishery improvement policies that will reframe crab sustainability. Fresh support from well-regarded crab importers like Lawrence Street speaks volumes about our efforts.”The NFI Crab Council funds fisheries improvement efforts in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Council members fund in-country sustainability work by assessing a fee on the poundage of crabs they import.  For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com. ###

NFI Crab Council Recognized by United Nations for Sustainability Work

September 29, 2015 (WASHINGTON) – The National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) Crab Council is being recognized by the U.N. Global Compact for its industry-led sustainability programs. Throughout five Southeast Asian nations, the Crab Council supports Fisheries Improvement Plans (FIPs) aimed at improving the blue swimming crab resources and bringing effective management to the fishery.The U.N. Global Compact is highlighting, “examples of global industry associations promoting sustainable development around the world.” The U.N. publication “Scaling Up Sustainability Collaboration: Contributions of Business Associations and Sector Initiatives to Sustainable Development” is designed as a tool for other industry associations across multiple sectors to help establish goals and spur coordination with stakeholders.Crab Council Chairman Brendan Sweeny regards the U.N.’s distinction as an important benchmark for the Crab Council.“The Crab Council’s model of fishery improvement has earned praise, grants and support from leading foundations and international organizations,” said Sweeny. “The Council’s recent acknowledgement by the U.N. Global Compact, which promotes business as a motivator of economic and social change, provides further reinforcement of the council’s industry-sponsored mission.”The Crab Council’s work to preserve blue swimming crab as a natural and economic resource is funded through council members who assess themselves a fee on each pound of crab they import. The funds generated go towards sponsoring the council’s in-country sustainability projects and fishery improvement work.The Council’s in country partners: the Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab Association (APRI) in Indonesia, the Philippine Association of Crab Processors (PACPI) in the Philippines, the Thai Crab Product Group (TCPG), the Crab Council of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), and the Seafood Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka (SEASL) are essential to the work being done.“Blue swimming crab is a valued seafood item and an important export for many countries in Asia,” said Ed Rhodes, NFI Crab Council Executive Director. “The fishery management being put in place today by those closest to the resource, with Crab Council assistance, will help ensure crabs continue to fill nets and menus for years to come. The result is an ecologic and economic win.” For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com. ###

NFI Crab Council Welcomes Another Member

Blue Swimming Crab Sustainability Coalition continues growth March 5, 2012 Washington, DC – Mobile Alabama-based Carrington Foods has joined the National Fisheries Institute’s Crab Council. The coalition is dedicated to the sustainability of blue swimming crab and funds fisheries improvement efforts in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. “Growing up on Mobile Bay, I am well schooled on the impact of everything from real estate growth to erosion on fisheries resources,” said B Carrington, President of Carrington Foods. “We’ve lived with the challenges here and hope we can get ahead of them in Asia.” The NFI Crab Council funds Blue Swimming Crab sustainability projects through contributions from participating companies and has received grants from The World Bank and the Walton Family Foundation. “The addition of Carrington Foods builds our membership to 17,” said Council Chair Ed Rhodes of Phillips Foods. “The structure of the Council is such that businesses put aside competition and focus on sustainability and the willingness of so many companies to do just that is what makes this group work.”    “We tell companies who we work with that NFI Crab Council members are helping improve blue swimming crab fisheries, and are responsible suppliers,” said Howard Johnson, Director of Global Programs for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. “The fact that the group is growing and building its membership means that more attention and more resources will be devoted to protecting these populations.” The Council was started in 2009 and charges its members a quarterly assessment based on the amount of blue swimming crab they import. ### Contact Information:  Gavin Gibbons (703)752-8891 ggibbons@nfi.org

Crab Council Membership to be Noted on CrabSuppliers.com

Online supplier directory will highlight sustainability initiative March 2, 2012 Washington, DC – Customers looking for crab who visit www.CrabSuppliers.com will soon have a new tool to help them choose where they source their product. The website will begin featuring the National Fisheries Institute’s Crab Council logo next to participating companies as part of its online directory. The site features a scoring model that rates suppliers in the areas of sustainability, traceability and business integrity. CrabSuppliers.com is one of 16 species specific online directories that provide buyers with free access to profiles on 2,200 of the industry’s most trusted suppliers. “We are pleased to add the Crab Council’s designation to our supplier ratings.  Our organizations share a strong interest in identifying suppliers who are committed to sustainability.” said SeafoodDirectory.com CEO Neal Workman.  “Buyers using our sites have clearly indicated that sustainability is a key differentiator when evaluating supply partners.” The NFI Crab Council was started in 2009 and invests in fisheries improvement plans in Indonesia, the Philippines and now Vietnam. The group, made up of 17 companies, is primarily self-funded but has received support from the World Bank and the Walton Family Foundation. “The Council works by levying an assessment on participating companies based on the pounds of blue swimming crab they import,” said Council Chair Ed Rhodes of Phillips Foods. “So it’s important for customers to know that by buying from these companies they are directly supporting sustainability initiatives.”  ### Contact Information:  Gavin Gibbons (703) 752-8891 ggibbons@nfi.org

Four More Companies Join NFI Crab Council

Coalition of Importers Leads Sustainability Initiatives Overseas February 3, 2012 Washington, DC – Four more crab companies have joined the National Fisheries Institute’s Crab Council. Now comprised of 16 of the largest U.S. crab importing companies, the coalition is dedicated to the sustainability of blue swimming crab and funds fisheries improvement efforts in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The latest editions to the coalition are Bonamar Corporation, Mazzetta Company, Stavis Seafoods and Quirch Foods. “We started with just a few companies around the table talking about the future of the Blue Swimming Crab fishery and now we have 16 companies all focused on sustainability, all working towards a single goal,” said Council Chair Ed Rhodes of Phillips Foods. “It’s heartening to see this industry led effort growing and having a positive impact.”   The NFI Crab Council has led the way in blue swimming crab sustainability efforts by not only funding projects but adopting measures that ensure its participating companies include a minimum size in their sourcing policies and support controls to limit the purchase of egg-bearing female crabs. “We tell companies who we work with that NFI Crab Council members are helping improve blue swimming crab fisheries, and are responsible suppliers,” said Howard Johnson, Director of Global Programs for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. “The fact that the group is growing and building its membership means that more attention and more resources will be devoted to protecting these populations.” The Council was started in 2009 and charges its members a quarterly assessment based on the amount of blue swimming crab they import and it uses those resources to fund fisheries improvement plans. To date, the group has also received outside financial support from the World Bank and the Walton Family Foundation.  ### Contact Information:  Gavin Gibbons(703) 752-8891ggibbons@nfi.org

NFI Crab Council Begins Search for Asia Liaison

Council Hiring fulltime Coordinator to Help Expand Projects December 27, 2011 – The NFI Crab Council will retain an Asia Liaison who will be the primary in-region contact for the Council’s projects. The position will work with in-country trade associations and various stakeholders on fisheries improvement work. The Liaison will not only serve as a resource to those organizations and a conduit for communications with the NFI Crab Council membership in the U.S. but will educate agencies about the importance of sustainable crab management practices. “Our Blue Swimming Crab sustainability efforts began in Indonesia and the Philippines and are poised to expand to Vietnam and Thailand,” said NFI Crab Council Chair Ed Rhodes of Phillips Foods. “As efforts continue to grow it is clear that our partners can benefit from an advocate on the ground in the region and our member companies would benefit from a dedicated coordinator.” The plan is to have the Liaison located centrally in Thailand but travel extensively to help with new and existing projects. “The NFI Crab Council is looking for someone who can build coalitions and networks and talk comfortably with government officials,” said NFI Crab Council Executive Committee member Carlos Faria from Blue Star. “We’re interested in strong communication amongst our partnerships and a voice that can advocate for real regulation that is focused on the sustainability of Blue Swimming Crab stocks.”    The Asia Liaison will be a contractor who works solely for and reports to the National Fisheries Institute.  The position is being funded in large part by a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation. The Foundation has invested funds as part of its commitment to Blue Swimming Crab sustainability work.  ### Contact Information:  Gavin Gibbons (703) 752-8891ggibbons@NFI.org

INDUSTRY SCOOP

  • NFI's 28th Annual Chowder Party
    Kick-off the 2016 Seafood Expo North America with old friends and new. Join us to celebrate NFI's 28th Annual Chowder Party to be held on Saturday, March 5th from 6pm - 7:30pm at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel conveniently located adjacent to the Boston Convention Center.