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.”
Since 2009, the NFI Crab Council has promoted industry-led stewardship, influencing crab management through funding fisheries improvement projects and market leadership. Throughout five countries in Asia, the Council sponsors sustainability projects to preserve crab as a popular, plentiful seafood item as well as an important economic resource for dependent livelihoods.