Crab Improvement Profile

Wild crab accounts for about four-fifths of the world’s crab production. However, less than half of wild crab is certified, rated, or in a FIP, and most of that volume is rated yellow or red. Our improvement efforts prioritize crab fisheries that are:

  • Red-rated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program (see all crab ratings here); or
  • Within the scope of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s Target 75 Initiative

A baseline step businesses can take to accelerate progress in improving performance is to prioritize the purchase of certified or Best Choice crab and encourage suppliers to pursue improvements. The collaboration is focused on improving the performance of farmed shrimp production by building on promising NGO and industry initiatives.

Seafood Watch

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program’s ratings are based on specific location and production method information. For detailed information, visit the Seafood Watch recommendations on crab.

Seafood Watch is working with buyers, producers and government managers to improve blue swimming crab fisheries in the Philippines. To learn more about the project, please visit the Seafood Watch website.

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

SFP’s “T75” initiative is focused on ensuring that at least 75% of world production in key sectors is sustainable (i.e., certified by the MSC program, or green-listed in SFP’s Metrics tool) or making regular, verifiable improvements. For wild production:

  • Certified by one of the following programs: IFFO RS, ASMI RFM, Iceland Responsible Fisheries, Fair Trade USA
  • Or under full assessment in the MSC program
  • Or in a FIP that is making good progress (i.e., with a progress rating of A, B, or C using SFP’s FIP evaluation tool

Almost all coldwater crab and about one third of warmwater crab fall within the scope of Target 75, specifically in the Coldwater crab and Swimming crab sectors. SFP has developed a visual display of T75 progress for each of the key seafood sectors, including coldwater crab and swimming crab. Please check the latest estimates here.

To learn more, visit the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s Target 75 Coldwater Crab Sector Report and its Southeast Asian Blue Swimming Crab and Russian Far East Coldwater Crab supply chain roundtables. For detailed information, contact


There are more than a dozen active crab FIPs worldwide, providing considerable opportunities to contribute to sustainability improvements. To learn more about specific FIPs, consult the FIP directory or the Improvement projects page of FishSource.