19 September 2012
The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) is participating in a new international partnership project to help secure a sustainable and profitable future for the European brown crab industry.
The project – ACRUNET – will develop a transnational approach for the catching, transport and selling of brown crab (Cancer pagurus) that will ensure the supply of a high quality and sustainable product to the main European markets.
The European brown crab sector has been hit by a number of challenges in recent years including soaring fuel prices, inconsistent quality and diminishing demand in European markets caused in part by competition from cheaper non-EU imports.
Despite this, the brown crab resource in Europe is strong with landings from the main stakeholders in the fishery UK (56%), Ireland (15%) and France (13%) accounting for 33,000 tonnes of the total European landings of 39,000 tonnes worth 66m euros at first point of sale.
Alan Coghill, the President of the SFF, says the importance of the fishery to the Scottish catching and processing sectors means it is vital that an inclusive transnational co-operative approach is adopted to ensure the maximum potential is achieved for this valuable resource.
“The SFF has been heavily involved in recent years working to improve the economics of the crab sector by being represented on the Scottish Fisheries Council Crab & Lobster Working Group and the Transnational Brown Crab Group,” he says.
“From initiatives such as these it was apparent that the way forward was to adopt a formalised international approach to catching, transport, processing and the marketing of brown crab that will involve all sectors working together for the common good of the industry.
“We are delighted that such a cross-sector approach has now been adopted through the ACRUNET project and we are confident it will deliver real benefits to Scotland’s crab fishermen.”
ACRUNET will form a transnational network that will address and identify factors such as improving brown crab competiveness through international co-operation, communication and innovation. Objectives will include the building of an industry/science interface that will feed into management and policy for crab at regional and international levels, and to develop the widespread adoption of an accredited brown crab standard to ensure the delivery of a high quality and sustainably caught product.
ACRUNET will also look to enhanced competiveness in the brown crab sector by introducing innovative practices and products and to increase market presence and visibility of brown crab through focused marketing and education.
Notes to editors
The partners in ACRUNET (Atlantic Crab Resource – Users NETwork) are:
1.Bord Iascaigh Mhara /2. Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation /3. SeaFish / 4.FranceAgriMer / 5.Marine Institute (IE) /6. Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos IPIMAR (P) /7. Centro Tecnologica Del Mar (ESP) /8. Comité National des Pêches Maritimes et des Elevages Marins (FR) /9. Bord Bia / 10.Shellfish Association of Great Britain /11. Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer /12. Centre for Environmental, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science /13. National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations / 14.Scottish Fishermen’s Federation / 15.Seafood Scotland.
Keith Broomfield, Catch PR Ltd, tel: 01259 742575, 07890 781151.