Introduction – FL Stone Crab MAP

Florida Stone Crab MAP

G.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.

After initial completion of the SBR, the G.U.L.F. team  is meeting with management and industry representatives and to finalize recommendations and associated actions. Finalized recommendations and actions will be published upon completion.

The scope of the Florida stone crab MAP includes the stone crab fishery management and operations in Florida state and federal waters for the two primary stone crab species, Florida stone crab (Menippe mercinaria), and Gulf stone crab (Menippe adina), and their hybrids. Traps are the primary gear type of the fishery. The fishery is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in both state and federal waters. 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 detailed in Section 5 of this report. The SBR has been reviewed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation 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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