Fish & Seafood

NFI Red Crab Council Committed to Improving Chinese Crab Fishery

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The McLean Virginia, USA-headquartered National Fisheries Institute’s Red Crab Council will continue to fund and support its Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) in China. The comprehensive FIP is focused on improving crab production in Fujian Province, the leading harvesting region in the PRC for red crab.

“For so many reasons the operating climate around red crab, from a trade perspective, is challenging these days,” said Newport International President Anjan Tharakan, chairman of the NFI Red Crab Council. “It would be easy to see why companies might say they don’t want to participate in this work right now. But not one company did. This is a committed group.”

The Council’s project partner on the ground in the PRC is Ocean Outcomes (O2), which coordinates with fishery stakeholders, government interests and the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance to keep the FIP moving in the right direction.

The NFI Red Crab Council funds the work by assessing a fee on each of its members based on the number of pounds they import each quarter.

“Like most FIPs, this project has its challenges on the water, but when your primary source of funding off the water is directly dependent on trade volume, and tariffs enter the picture, that makes things even more challenging,” said O2 founder and senior advisor Rich Lincoln. “To be able to continue the work in China with local fishery stakeholders will allow us to build on the momentum we’ve generated and ensure this important FIP remains on track.”

The status of the Fujian Red Crab FIP, a large scale project involving over 1,000 vessels, is updated biannually on Its 2019 work focused on implementation of catch, biological and effort data collection, harvest strategy evaluation, and lost fishing gear assessment.