Introduction – TX Blue Crab

Texas Blue Crab MAP

TX-BC-scoringG.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 Ecolabelling 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 Texas Blue Crab MAP includes only the blue crab fishery management and op­erations in Texas state waters. Based on the most recent regional stock assessment conducted by GSMFC, the Texas blue crab fishery has been identified as part of a larger stock of Western Gulf of Mexico, which includes the blue crab fisheries of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Regulatory authority, however, is maintained by each individual state, and each state is addressed in separate MAPs.

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 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) 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.

The SBR and verification evidence can be provided upon request.

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