The Oregon Dungeness crab fishery which operates off the USA west coast has earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. The MSC ecolabel was awarded following independent assessment to the MSC standard for sustainable, well-managed fisheries.
Dungeness crab is Oregon’s official 'state crustacean'. The crabs have been harvested commercially along the Pacific coast since the late 1800’s. Dungeness crabs range from central California to the Gulf of Alaska, and is Oregon’s most valuable single species fishery.
Oregon’s harvest for the 2009-2010 season was 23,195,059 pounds (10,521 metric tons) and the landed value was $44.8 million. Oregon is currently the top producer of Dungeness crab worldwide.
The Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission is the fishery client, with 425 limited entry license holders fishing primarily within 10 miles of the Oregon coast. Dungeness crab is sold live, or as fresh or frozen whole cooked crabs, as well as picked meat, legs and sections. The United States is the major market for Dungeness crab although products are also shipped to markets around the world.
"We are very happy to have successfully completed the certification process and join the other fisheries in Oregon and around the world that have earned this important sustainability designation," said Nick Furman, executive director of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. "We anticipate that the MSC label will create new marketplace opportunities and recognition for ‘Oregon Dungeness’ as awareness of and demand for certified seafood products grows."