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Mexico Supports Sustainable Use of Stone Crab Fishery

Alice Mitchell
30 July 2015, at 1:00am

MEXICO - The Mexican agriculture and fisheries ministry, SAGARPA, is promoting the sustainable use of stone crab fishing to meet market demand for the product.

The stone crab fishery is of commercial interest, mainly for its chelae (the first pair of appendages used for capturing prey).

Therefore SAGARPA, through the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA) and based on the support of the National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA), has now updated regulations that promote sustainable fishing of the species.

The draft amendment was approved at the third ordinary session of the National Advisory Committee on Standardisation of Agrifood, held in June 2015, and proposed adjustments were discussed by the Technical Working Group of the fishery for stone crabs and the responsible fisheries Subcommittee.

According to the regulations, stone crabs must be caught by using a vessel made of wood or fibreglass, of a length less than 10.5 metres.

They state that traps may use wood, plastic or reed in crab capture, and the inlet opening may not be less than 102 millimetres long and 165 millimetres wide. They also specify the minimum size of crabs when the chelae are removed, and how to sort the crabs by size, with crabs of the wrong size returned live to the sea.

Supervision and monitoring for compliance with the measures will be performed by CONAPESCA, in cooperation with other agencies.