Western Australia Deep Sea Crab Fishery MSC Certified

The Western Australia Deep Sea Crab Fishery has been certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fishery standard. Collaboration between research and fisheries has made this certification possible for this internationally desired species. The Deep Sea Crab is local to Western Australia and the first of this species to achieve MSC certification. 

“Congratulations to the Deep Sea Crab fishery on MSC certification, consumers can now trust that these crabs are independently certified as sustainable,” says Patrick Caleo, Regional Director for MSC Asia Pacific.

“Through collaboration and the support of the Western Australian Department of Fisheries, the distinct Deep Sea Crab is now eligible to carry the MSC blue tick of approval,” Caleo added.

The Western Australia Deep Sea Crab, also known as the WA Crystal crab (Chaceon albus) is caught 4,000km off the coast of Western Australia in pots. These crabs are primarily sold to the Asian consumer market both domestically and internationally. With a succulent white flesh and distinctive sweet taste, these crabs are highly prized for their flavour and visual presentation.

Collaboration and co-operation

“Sustainability is an important aspect to our business and the assurance of the MSC certification confirms our practices are environmentally sustainable to our customers and consumers,” says Glen Bosman, Managing Director of Southern Trading Australia P/L, a major deep sea crab fisher in the region. 

“Co-operation between the Department of Fisheries and industry produced the necessary data for certification. Due to the nature of research in the deep sea, collaboration between the licence-holders, the Western Australian Department of Fisheries, and the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council made the certification possible,” notes Dr. Kim Walshe, Manager Fisheries Certification Program, Department of Fisheries Western Australia. 

Independent assessment

The 18 month certification process was carried out by independent assessment body SCS Global Services. The Deep Sea Crab fishery now joins the 286 MSC certified fisheries globally, landing 10% of all wild caught seafood and is the twelfth certified fishery in Australia. 

Fisheries are assessed by third party, independent auditors against the MSC Standard which assesses three core principles including fishery stock health, impact on marine environment and management of the fishery. MSC certified fisheries are continually monitored and must complete annual surveillance audits as well as being reassessed every five years.

More than 615 improvements to fishing practices and environmental management have been delivered by MSC certified fisheries since 2000.

Source: Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)