Vietnam Blue Swimming Crab

Fishery Improvement Projects

Vietnam Blue Swimming Crab

  • Species Name: Blue Swimming Crab (Portunus pelagicus)
  • Location/Region: Vietnam Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Kien Giang province
  • Gear Type: Gillnet and traps
  • Volume: 3,632 MT (2017)

© WWF-US / Mike Osmond
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Vietnam Blue Swimming Crab

FIP Stage: 5 (Improvements on the Water)
Last Updated: September 2019

The Kien Giang blue swimming crab fishery supports the livelihood of about 20,000 fishermen and their families. This species is an important export for Vietnam.

The critical issues facing this fishery are the harvest of undersized crab and gravid females, and lack of enforcement capacity.

The active involvement of FIP Stakeholders, including the Department of Agriculture and Resource Development (DARD), Research Institute Fisheries Management (RIMF) and Provincial Peoples Committee (PPC), drive improvements against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard.

A bushel of blue swimming crab caught in Vietnam using gillnets and traps.

© WWF-US / Mike Osmond


FIP efforts address governance, fishing practices, and environmental impacts of the fishery so that it can meet the MSC standard. This work is steered by FIP participants and FIP stakeholders and includes:
  • Working with government management agencies and local fishers to implement a co-management system.

  • Working with DARD and the Vietnam Association of Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Crab Council to improve law enforcement capacity and effectiveness.

  • Working with government agencies to implement a crab management plan that will ensure sustainable harvest.


We encourage action across the supply chain to support FIP progress. A FIP Participant is an industry member that is part of the seafood supply chain for the FIP product and is actively engaged in supporting the FIP.
  • Costco Wholesale

  • Hyatt Corporation

  • The Kroger Co.

  • UNFI

How Can I Become a FIP Participant?

A FIP Participant is an industry member that is part of the seafood supply chain for the FIP product (e.g., retailers, food service providers, suppliers, manufacturers, etc.) and is actively engaged in supporting the FIP. WWF-US encourages support of FIP participants, and will acknowledge FIP Participants on our sustainable seafood website and in other communications regarding our FIP work.

To be considered by WWF-US as a FIP Participant the participating entity is expected to follow the WWF-US FIP Participant Policy.

For more information about what a FIP is and how you can play a role, please contact


The Marine Stewardship Council uses 28 performance indicators to assess the sustainability of fisheries. The chart represents the percentage of indicators that would likely pass, pass with conditions for improvement, or fail upon the fishery’s full assessment.

Vietnam Blue Swimming Crab FIP Status

Initial Assessment

Implementing Improvements

We use a step-wise process to evaluate the fishery’s performance and identify sustainability issues, and then to implement improvements and report results. Want to dive deeper into this FIP’s progress on each of the MSC performance indicators? Visit


The fishery has achieved the following impacts through improved practices and management
  • Implemented national legal system with minimum mesh and crab harvest size.

  • Implemented fisheries management plan.

  • Established fisheries management council.

  • Annual stock assessments.

Making blue swimming crab fishing sustainable in Vietnam

October 20, 2016

Kien Giang province is nestled in the southwest of Vietnam, featuring a prominent coastline along the Gulf of Thailand. Here in these tepid waters lives the blue swimming crab, a crustacean with an olive-green body and front claws the color of the sky on a clear day.


Get Involved

Become a FIP Participant

By signing on to support a FIP you are joining forces with other leaders in the industry that seek to help conserve marine ecosystems, protect livelihoods, and increase the number of sustainable fisheries and the overall supply of sustainable seafood.


© Antonio Busiello | WWF-US