Blue crab

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice

Blue crab

Portunus pelagicus
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Pacific Ocean, north-west (FAO 61)

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom otter trawl, Pots and traps, Fyke, Driftnets

Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The fishing pressureFishing pressure:
Fishing pressure is a result of the fishing effort/amount of fishing on a stock, which determines the fishing mortality. Fishing mortality is the share of the fish stock that dies annually as a result of fishing.
on blue (swim) crab is currently to high. The stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
of P. pelagicus in this area is being overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
. Due to the short lifespan of the crab and their fast reproduction cycle, there is a chance that the stock will have a relatively fast recovery.

The use of fykeFyke:
A fishing technique where fish are attracted into a fyke. Fykes are pots or traps made of, for example, wire mesh.
s, potsPots/clay pots:
Clay pots are used in southern Europe to catch octopus. The animals crawl into the pots to use it as shelter, after which the fisherman collects the pots. This is a selective fishing method that does not damage the soil.
and traps have no negative impacts on the ecosystem. Although, it is thought this method has a relatively large impact on vulnerable and threatened species. The use of demersalDemersal otter trawls:
A technique in which conical nets are dragged over the ground and are held open by large, square 'otter planks'. The planks also work as a plough, in which fish are hunted into the nets.
otter trawls does have a negative impact on the sea bottom. The use of driftDrift nets:
Gill nets that float on the sea current (with or without boat). Fish get stuck in the nets with their gills. Drift nets are prohibited in European waters. 
nets has a potentially large impact on vulnerable species. This method has a high bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 

Currently, there is no management plan for this species and the current policy is not sufficient enough to protect this species. There are also no signs of the development of a new management plan on the short term.

Fish in season 

Fish is in season when the spawning period has ended, as the quality is then at its best.


Lobsters and crayfish

Lobsters live in saltwater whilst crayfish live in freshwater habitats. Lobsters and crayfish are most often caught using pots or traps. Most lobsters are equipped with ten legs and two scissors as front legs. With these scissors, they are able to grab, cut or crack their food. Did you know lobsters and crayfish, just lie snakes, change their skin because their shell does not grow with their bodies? After changing their shell the animal grows fast and increases in weight.

There are many different lobster species. Most common are the American lobster in the north-western Atlantic ocean, and the European lobster in the north-eastern Atlantic ocean. Lobsters have a relatively slow growth rate and reach sexual maturity at a late age. Another frequently consumed lobster is the Norway lobster. This species is way smaller than the American and European lobster. This species occurs in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and parts of the Mediterranean sea.



Blue crab

The blue crab is also known as the horse crab, blue crab, blue swimmer crab and sand crab. There are two different species of the blue crab that have a very similar appearance. One occurs in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific whilst the other species occurs in the Atlantic Ocean. The blue crab is a relatively large crab with a carapace width of 20 centimetres. The crab has blue coloured legs of which the last pair is flattened and function as paddles for swimming. Another characteristic feature of the blue crab are the white spots on its carapace and two pointy extensions on both sides of the carapace.