Five years running: a large-scale, multinational effort to improve crab sustainabilty in China is producing positive outcomes for those involved
Working with the NFI Red Crab Council and local partners Qingdao Marine Conservation Society, we are proud to announce we are entering year five of the comprehensive Fujian Zhangzhou Red Swimming Crab FIP in China. Given the continued progress of the Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) and its ongoing efforts to improve the sustainability of 40,000 mt of crab caught by trawls and pots in the Minnan-Taiwan Bank, the FIP was recently awarded an ‘A’ rating on FisheryProgress.org for producing tangible outcomes on-the-water.
“I have called this effort The Little FIP That Could for many years now,” said Newport International President Anjan Tharakan, the NFI Red Crab Council Chair. “Year after year O2, their partners QMCS in China, and our member companies find a way to keep it moving in the right direction. I am as proud of the work done on the ground as I am the commitment. The operating climate has not been easy.”
This year, those involved in the FIP will conduct dockside catch monitoring, scientific analysis of catch samples, report catch-related data and project improvement publicly and convene local stakeholders to advance sustainability initiatives in the fishery, including assessing and identifying processes for addressing social risk.
While bottom trawls produce the majority of the crab in the FIP, pots and traps such as this are also used.
“This FIP has earned an A rating in the face of all sorts of adversity,” said O2 Founder and CEO Rich Lincoln. “On some levels our strategy has had to change to keep the lights on but through the leadership of our partner QMCS, an early commitment to engage government and fishery stakeholders in the Zhangzhou region has paid dividends and created real partners. Regulators, fishers, processors, importers, and NGO’s all contribute to the know the work we’re doing. It’s a true collaboration.”
A subset of these partners in China include QMCS, Tao Ran, the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA), Zhangzhou Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (ZAPPMA) and Xiamen University which have been integral in securing Chinese government support for the work.