Bold New Partnership to Improve the Blue Swimming Crab Fishery In the Visayan Sea

Aggressive goals set to improve management, markets and livelihoods in one of the Philippines’ most important ecosystems and fisheries

Oct 22, 2019

Seafood Watch

The Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Association of Crab Processors Inc., Chicken of the Sea, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USAID Fish Right Program and Saravia Blue Crab Inc. announced a new public-private partnership to improve the sustainability of the blue swimming crab fishery in the Visayan Sea to a minimum of a Seafood Watch yellow Good Alternative rating by 2022.

“This partnership represents a unique new collaboration to significantly scale up improvements in one of the most important fisheries in the Philippines,” said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, Vice President of Global Ocean Initiatives at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “The quick timeline indicates the partners’ resolve to make sustainability improvements at scale and distinguish this fishery in the region.”

The partnership builds on two significant commitments announced in 2018: Chicken of the Sea and Monterey Bay Aquarium’s launch of SeaChange® IGNITE, and the USAID Fish Right Program. The partnership brings these programs together to address key sustainability and management challenges in one of the Philippines’ most important regions for marine biodiversity. 

“The Visayan Sea is an important sourcing region for Chicken of the Sea,” said Henry DelaLlana, Senior Director of Procurement, Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods. “We are proud to participate in this improvement effort and we will work closely with our supplier partner, Phil Union, to ensure full traceability for our customers who demand more responsible crab products.”

This new partnership will engage small-scale fishing communities, the supply chain and the Philippine government to achieve its goal. Collaborators will work together to reduce overfishing, protect juvenile crabs, improve data collection and transparency, address bycatch, implement new science-based management measures and establish resources for enforcement in support of the updated national management plan. More information about the partnership is available at an accompanying webpage.

“We are thrilled to see the Philippine government and industry step forward to address critical sustainability challenges that are pervasive across small-scale fisheries in Southeast Asia,” said former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “This partnership will harness the global market to accelerate improvements—protecting marine ecosystems and improving the livelihoods of Filipinos who depend on sustainable fisheries.”

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The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean.