Introduction – FL Blue Crab

Florida Blue Crab MAP

FL scoresG.U.L.F. assesses U.S. state fisheries by benchmarking them against internationally recognized standards of sustainability. Comprehensive information on the fishery was gathered through interviews with management and industry representatives, public documents, and research publications, and compared to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) in a G.U.L.F. Sustainability Benchmarking Report (SBR). The CCRF is the foundational document for the FAO Ecolabeling Guidelines, as well as many sustainability certification standards currently used in the marketplace. “A Checklist for Fisheries Resource Management Issues Seen From the Perspective of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries” known as the “Caddy Checklist,” was used as the basis for the SBR based on its functionality as an operationalized version of the CCRF. The Caddy Checklist focuses on the sustainability of management measures by addressing five key areas of the fishery: fisheries management, fishing operations, integration of fisheries into coastal area management, post-harvest practices and trade, and fisheries research. By taking clauses of the CCRF and transforming statements into questions, it is possible to quantify and score the system used to manage the fishery, measuring the robustness of management and sustainability.

The scope of the Florida Blue Crab MAP includes only the blue crab fishery management and operations in Florida state waters. Based on the most recent regional stock assessment conducted by GSMFC, the Florida west coast blue crab fishery is part of the ‘Eastern GOM stock, which spans the Florida Gulf coast to Apalachee. The Florida blue crab fishery spans both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and is managed as one stock. The 2007 Florida blue crab stock assessment does assess the populations of the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts separately, and though G.U.L.F’s original contract specified that only Gulf fisheries be addressed, the nature of the Caddy Checklist and of Florida’s management structure warranted that the fishery be addressed as a whole rather than split regionally.

After initial completion of the SBR, the G.U.L.F. team met with management and industry representatives and, utilizing the recommendations in the SBR, developed the actions to address specific recommendations.

The SBR has been reviewed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) staff for completeness of in­formation and audited by Global Trust Certification, LTD (GTC), a third party sustainability certification organization. GTC verified that the justifications provided for scoring met the approval of a certifying organization. The SBR contains a set of recommendations provided by G.U.L.F. and GTC for potential areas of improvement to increase the scoring of respons­es that did not meet a GREEN rating. A summary of commercial industry interviews and recommen­dations made by industry are also provided in the SBR.

The SBR and verification evidence can be provided upon request.

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FL blue crab

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