BCCFW: Sustainably caught Dungeness crab

At Fisherman’s Market, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality, sustainably caught seafood. During this year’s British Columbia Commercial Fishing Week (BCCFW), we want to take the opportunity to highlight one of our most popular and sustainably caught species: Dungeness crab.

Dungeness crab is a species found in the Pacific Ocean and is often caught using traps. Traps are a sustainable fishing method because they allow for selective harvesting and do not cause damage to the seafloor. Dungeness crab traps are often baited with fish or squid and are set in specific areas to target the crab. Traps are designed to allow undersized and non-target species to escape, minimizing bycatch.

Dungeness crab, also known as Cancer magister, is a popular species found in the Pacific Ocean and is a staple in the BC seafood industry.

Dungeness crab is known for its sweet, delicate flavour and firm texture and is a delicacy in many cuisines. They are often used in sushi, and can also be grilled, sautéed, or used in pasta dishes. It is also a good source of protein and minerals.

BC is home to some of the most well-managed Dungeness crab fisheries in the world, and we are proud to source our Dungeness crab from west coast, sustainable fisheries. The Dungeness crab populations are healthy and well-managed by regional fishery management organizations, ensuring that the crabs are caught in a responsible manner.

At Fisherman’s Market, we believe that sustainability is not only an environmental responsibility, but also an economic and social one. It is our duty to ensure that the seafood we provide to our customers is not only delicious and high quality, but also responsibly and sustainably sourced.

Fisherman's Market Dungeness crab dockside sales
Dungeness crab fishing boat

Dungeness Crab: A history of sustainable fishing in British Columbia

The Dungeness crab, also known as Cancer magister, is a popular species found in the Pacific Ocean and is a staple in the BC seafood industry. The Dungeness crab has a long history of sustainable fishing, dating back to the early 20th century.

Fishing for Dungeness crab in BC began in the early 1900s, with the first commercial fishery opening in the 1920s. Initially, the fishery was small-scale and localized, but as demand for crab grew, the fishery expanded. In the 1950s, the use of traps became more widespread, and by the 1960s, trap fishing had become the primary method of catching Dungeness crab in BC.

It is important to note that the fishing of Dungeness crab has been a traditional activity for many Indigenous peoples living along the Pacific Coast for thousands of years. The traditional method of fishing for Dungeness crab involved the use of woven baskets and dip-nets, rather than traps. The crab was an important food source for Indigenous communities and continues to hold cultural significance today.

In the 1980s, the British Columbia government established the Pacific Fisheries Management Organization (PFMO) to manage the Dungeness crab fishery. The organization sets quotas, regulates the season, and manages the fishery to ensure sustainability. In the 1990s, the use of biodegradable escape panels in traps was introduced to reduce ghost fishing, where traps continue to catch marine life even after they have been abandoned.

Today, the Dungeness crab fishery in British Columbia is considered to be one of the most well-managed and sustainable in the world. At Fisherman’s Market, we are proud to source our Dungeness crab from west coast, sustainable fisheries that follow responsible fishing practices.

We hope that our customers will join us in celebrating BCCFW and learning more about the importance of sustainable fishing in British Columbia. We invite you to try some of our delicious Dungeness crab during BCCFW, and experience the taste of sustainably caught seafood. If you have any questions about our sustainable fishing practices or the Dungeness crab we offer, please do not hesitate to ask us.

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