G.U.L.F. Publishes Action Plan for Texas Blue Crab

Audubon Nature Institute’stxbc_cover_link Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) has spent the last year working with the blue crab industry in Texas to create a Marine Advancement Plan (MAP). MAPs are a collaborative effort between G.U.L.F., management, and industry to advance the fishery towards greater sustainability.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department does a great job managing the blue crab fisheries in Texas state waters, ” said Laura Picariello, Research Manager for G.U.L.F. “Our goal is to continue working with the blue crab industry to increase sustainability by addressing the few gaps that exist in our Sustainability Benchmarking Report.”

Before creating the Action Plan for the Texas blue crab fishery, G.U.L.F. assessed the fishery against internationally accepted standards of sustainability. “The score for Texas blue crab was quite high, ” continues Picariello. “From there, we met with management and industry to discuss ways to address what few gaps exist and developed recommendations and actions to increase the sustainability of the fishery.”

Recommendations for the Texas blue crab fishery did not just result from the Sustainability Benchmarking Report. Industry interviews also revealed areas in which the industry felt the fishery could improve.

One of the areas G.U.L.F. discussed with participating stakeholders is the industry creating a blue crab organization that can provide a forum for industry to discuss challenges, ways to improve the fishery, and advocate for the fishery with a unified voice. Other industry

Continued industry education is also one of the recommendations. G.U.L.F. is working with Texas Sea Grant,  discussing how to best expand the efforts Texas Sea Grant has started with the Port Arthur Area Shrimpers Association to also include blue crab industry.  Similarly, Louisiana Sea Grant and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has created the new Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program that addresses issues such as safety training, professionalism, and current regulations.

More detailed information about the Texas Blue Crab Marine Advancement Plan, and the full Action Plan, are available at AudubonGULF.org.

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