Asosiasi Pengelolaan Rajungan Indonesia (APRI), Indonesia Blue Swimming Crab Processors Association
Indonesia EEZ, Indian Ocean
Location: Throughout Indonesia
Typical area of the fishery: Indonesian waters, FAO 71, FAO 57
Blue swimming crab (BSC) fishing in Indonesia is mostly carried out by small-scale fishers using boats of less than 10 GT with or without motors, and in some cases fishermen do not use boats. The crabs are caught mostly using bottom gillnets and collapsible traps, and to a lesser extent with the now illegal shallow bottom trawls (baby trawls).
An estimated 65,000 fishermen and 13,000 pickers (working in over 400 miniplants or cooking stations throughout Indonesia) are directly employed in the crab fishery. In addition, several thousand other players are involved in the fishery, including middlemen, operators of miniplants where initial processing is carried out, and final processors/packagers who export the products.
Based on catch reports in recent years, the average size of landed blue swimming crabs is becoming smaller (indicating an increase in catching effort). There are also signs that blue swimming crabs are not producing maximum economic benefits in some regions in Indonesia. In many landing areas, even small crabs (150 crabs per kg) are being caught and harvested.
There is no specific management system for blue swimming crab. The existing management framework does not provide positive incentives for sustainable fishing. The open access system has inherent risks and implicit incentives for unsustainable fishing.
Typical annual landings:
In 2009, annual blue swimming crab landing was 35 thousands t, almost 7 times the landings in 1990. Anecdotal observation by industry specialists indicates that this is grossly underestimated.
Markets for the product:
Crab is an important part of Indonesia’s overall export revenue from seafood products. In 2011, BSC comprised 8 percent of total fishery product export value, coming fourth after shrimp (38%), other fishes (32%), and tuna (15%). The total export volume of crab in 2011 reached 23,000 tonnes valued at $262 million (USD).
The United States has been the biggest market for Indonesian crab exports, purchasing more than 50 percent of the total crab export from Indonesia. Other markets include Singapore (17%), Malaysia (10%), Taiwan (7%), European Union (6%), China (5%), and Japan (2%).
Beginning of the FIP:
In 2007, Phillips Foods requested SFP’s advice on a sustainability agenda. Phillips Foods and other major crab processors in Indonesia formed the Indonesia Blue Swimming Crab Producers Association (APRI) in 2007, with the goal of sustainable procurement from healthy stocks. APRI decided to work with SFP to improve blue swimming crab fisheries through a fishery improvement project (FIP).