The Spain crayfish (crawfish) FIP is implemented by the industry representatives ALFOCAN and SOUTH OCEAN. Both processing companies gather most of the annual volumes of the local crayfish industry. The FIP has been active since January 2021, but early improvement efforts were carried out as early as 2015.
The crayfish (crawfish) are caught by recreational fishermen/crayfish collectors. In Andalusia, most landings are directly bought from these fishermen, while in Extremadura the crayfish are sourced through authorized reception centers (who buy and collect the catches of the local fishermen/collectors).
Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) are unevenly distributed throughout Andalusia and Extremadura. The crayfish are caught by hand with fyke nets in marshes and rice fields of Andalusia and by boat using traps in lakes and rivers of Extremadura.
Fishing for crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in Andalusia and Extremadura is regulated through the Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) Control Plan in the Guadalquivir Marshes (BOJA nº 152, 2016. https://www.juntadeandalucia.es/boja /2016/152/BOJA16-152-00218.pdf) and the Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) Control Plan in Extremadura (DOE nº 220, 2016 http://doe.gobex.es/pdfs/doe/2016/2200o/16061720.pdf, modified by DOE nº 61, 2019. http://doe.gobex.es/pdfs/doe/2019/610o/19060641.pdf)
In Andalusia the crayfish fishery is located in the waters of the Guadalquivir river (which is the main area where this fishery is allowed), while fishing for crayfish in Extremadura is allowed in all continental waters of Extremadura (which includes waters of the Guadiana and the Tajo rivers, although catches in Tajo waters are rare).
Name of the fishery: Crayfish fishery in Andalusia and Extremadura
Targeted species common name: Crayfish / Crawfish / Cangrejo rojo americano / Écrevisse
Targeted species scientific name: Procambarus clarkii
Targeted stock: Procambarus clarkii (stock boundaries undefined: either the Iberian Peninsula or the different regions where the fishery takes place).
The fishing method or gear type(s) and/or practice: Fyke nets in Andalusia and Crayfish traps in Extremadura.
The fishing fleet or group of vessels, or individuals fishing operators pursuing that stock: Recreational fishermen holders of administrative authorization to fish for crayfish in Andalusia or Extremadura and selling the catch to authorized storage/distribution or processing facilities.
FAO major fishing areas: Freshwater fishery in continental waters of Spain. FAO zone 05.
The Spain crayfish (crawfish) FIP is implemented by the industry representatives ALFOCAN and SOUTH OCEAN. Both processing companies gather most of the annual volumes of the local crayfish industry.
The main objective of the present FIP is to achieve MSC certification by 2027. The FIP work plan is expected to be completed by December 2025. Given that certification processes last a year or a year and a half, it is expected that if the fishery initiates the certification process in early 2026, it will be MSC certified by 2027.
There are several specific objectives of the fishery improvement project:
- To define stock boundaries and stock status, and implement management measures such as a harvest strategy and harvest control rules directed to the stock.
- Implement management measures that serve to identify impacts on ecosystem elements and address them.
- Strengthen the management of crayfish. As an introduced species, the fishery is regulated by a "control" plan which focuses on the removals of the stock but does not consider other potential impacts on the ecosystem. Currently, there is little enforcement of the control plan.
FIP at a Glance
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