MSCIt is the month of love and the Right Bite team is seeing red! February’s Fish of the Month is the Marine Stewardship Council certified Atlantic red crab. Yes, we are smitten with this new crab on the block for its sweet flavor and sustainability. 

In 2002, a fishery management plan ensured the young fleet kept its modest landings. Currently, there are only four vessels in the fleet, each with a strict total catch limit. With increasing demand for red crab, it is crucial that wild populations are given sufficient time to repopulate and renew. This approach to fishing helped the Atlantic red crab fishery become certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in 2009, the world’s leading certification and ecolabelling program for sustainable seafood.

Atlantic red crabs call the deep, cold waters between Canada and North Carolina’s coast their home. The fishery uses pots and traps on the U.S. continental shelf at depths of two thousand feet or more. The traps are specially designed to catch red crab only, vastly reducing the accidental catch of other marine life.

Red crab juveniles, females, and males naturally segregate at different depths. This trait helps fisherman catch predominantly commercial size males, instead of restricted juveniles and females. As species like red crab emerge in seafood markets, ocean-friendly fishing gear and catch limits are essential for maintaining healthy marine life.

Surprise loved ones this Valentine’s Day with Red Crab with Aioli and Citrus Fennel Salad. Atlantic red crab is currently available at Whole Foods Market – look for the two-pound package from the Atlantic Red Crab Company, bearing the blue MSC ecolabel. Enjoy!

Red Crab with Aioli and Citrus Fennel Salad
Serves 4

Crab Ingredients:

-2 lbs. MSC Certified Atlantic Red Crab Company claws, thawed
-2 egg yolks
-1 teaspoon mustard
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1 garlic clove, minced
-Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Place crab claws in steamer basket over boiling water 

2. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes 

3. Remove steamed claws and let cool 

4. In medium bowl, whisk yolk and mustard until smooth 

5. Pour oil in thin stream, continuously whisking until mix thickens 

6. Add garlic, salt and pepper and mix until fully blended 

7. Serve as dip with steamed crabmeat

Salad Ingredients:

-4 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons cider vinegar 
-2 tablespoons mustard 
-1 tablespoon honey
-Salt & pepper to taste
-4 cups arugula 
-1 orange & 1 grapefruit, peeled and separated 
-2 fennel bulbs, sliced


1. Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in medium bowl

2. Divide arugula onto each plate, top with fruit and fennel

3. Drizzle approximately 2 tablespoons of dressing on each salad

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Posted by Brooke Havlik, conservation