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Blue crab

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
Informatie over vissoort
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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

There are two species op blue crab that are eaten: one can be found in the Atlantic Ocean (Callinectus) and the other can be found in the Indian and Pacific Ocean (Portunus). These crabs can be recognised by their blue legs, where the last pair is flattened and function as swimming paddles. Both crabs can reach sizes of up to 20-25 centimetres. The Portunus crab can be found at depths ranging from 10 to 50 m and the Callinectes crab at depths between 0-90 metres.

Blue crab

Portunus pelagicus

Pacific Ocean, northwest (FAO 61)

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom otter trawl, Pots and traps, Fykes, Driftnets

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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 [fyke]s, potspots:
A fishing method in which traps made of chicken wire are baited (fresh or salted fish) which are then placed on the seabed. Species caught this way include crab, lobster, whelk, langoustine and octopus.
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.

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.


Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.


There is fish available of this species that is farmed or caught using high welfare standards.


GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.


Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.