Atlantic deep sea red crab — MSC
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You are here: Home Track a fishery Fisheries in the MSC program Certified fisheries North-west Atlantic Atlantic deep sea red crab

Atlantic deep sea red crab

Atlantic deep sea red crabMSC status

Certified as sustainable on 3rd September 2009.

Please refer to the assessment downloads section for further details. Contact the Conformity Assessment Body.


Species: Atlantic deep-sea red crab (Chaceon quinquedens)
Location: Along the continental shelf of the north-eastern coast of the United States, from Cape Hatteras (North Carolina) in the south to border with Canada in the north.
Fishing methods: Trap (pot)
Vessels: 4
Number of fisheries: 1

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More about Atlantic deep-sea red crab

Deep-sea red crabs are found along the continental shelf and slope of the Western Atlantic and are generally found at depths from 200 to 1800 meters. Their distribution reaches from the Gulf of Mexico in the south up to Emerald Bay, Nova Scotia in the north. Depending on life stage, they may occur from the shallow warm waters of the continental shelf as larvae and deep cold water on the outer continental shelf as post larval crabs.

In the Northeast, adult red crabs occur along the continental shelf edge and upper slope from the Scotian Shelf and the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras.

More about the fishing methods

The directed red crab fishery is entirely a trap fishery. The primary fishing zone for red crab, as reported by the fishing industry, is at a depth of 400-800 meters along the continental shelf in the Northeast region, and is limited to waters north of 35° 15.3N (Cape Hatteras, NC) and south of the Hague Line.

Fishery tonnage

2,688 tonnes

Commercial market

Product sold domestically within the United States to food service businesses.

Actual eligibility date

The actual elgibility date for crab products caught in the Atlantic Deep Sea Red Crab fishery as 3 January 2009. This date predates the release of a Public Comment Draft Report by less than six months.

Crab caught after the actual eligibility date but before the date of the certification of the fishery and sold beyond the first point of sale after landing may be eligible to use the MSC ecolabel, provided that any company having bought fish bears a valid Chain of Custody certificate.

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