That’s why WWF teamed up with local governments, producers and exporters, and fishers to protect and improve the blue swimming crab stock in Kien Giang, and get their fishery certified as sustainable.
More than 20,000 people in Kien Giang rely on the blue swimming crab fisheries to support their families. It’s an essential source of income in a region with limited livelihood alternatives, so the fishery must stay both healthy and competitive.
Meat from blue swimming crab is similar to that of the blue crab found in the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico, and is in high demand in the United States, Japan, and parts of Europe. But that rising demand—particularly from a small, local fishery—could lead to over harvesting. The Kien Giang crab fishery is facing several critical issues along these lines: the harvest of undersized crab, a lack of knowledge of the health of the stock, and a need for better enforcement of fishing regulations.
In 2010, WWF began meeting with those involved in the fishery to develop a fishery improvement project (FIP) to address the problems. The idea is to make forward-looking changes to the fishery that will help it meet the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world’s leading certification program for sustainable wild-caught fisheries.