Blue Sea logo

Policies

All Policies

Sustainability & Animal Welfare

In April 2022 the UK Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act was passed which legally recognised decapod crustaceans as sentient animals capable of feeling pain, distress and discomfort. 

Management Commitment & Policy

The Blue Sea Food Company is committed to ensuring the welfare of the crustacea we handle. We endeavour to employ practices designed to reduce stress to the animal and to maximise the survival of crabs and lobsters as they move through the supply chain. Keeping crustacea alive and in good condition is important for economic and food quality reasons and, as the London School of Economics (LSE) 2022 sentience report shows, also for the welfare of these animals. Therefore, this policy applies to all decapod crustaceans from all geographies, products and brands handled by the company.

We recognise that decapod crustacea have species-specific needs that must be met during capture, transport, holding and processing that take account of each species’ physical, physiological and behavioural needs. We have worked to ensure that the crustacea we handle are handled, transported, held and dispatched appropriately and in conditions appropriate to their species to ensure their welfare and minimise mortality.

We are engaged with SEAFISH, The Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) and Crustacean Compassion in developing and implementing codes of best practice to help protect the welfare of decapod crustaceans throughout the supply chain. More information can be found on the Seafish website.

The company is committed to reducing the negative effects of capture methods. We will actively promote best practice through our choice of supplier, agreed standards and specifications and by implementation of our welfare procedures.

As an organisation, we are committed to ensuring that we comply with all obligations (legal, ethical and otherwise); including codes of practice and guidance produced by regulatory bodies and specific standards, relating to animal welfare.

Capture

Our crab and lobsters are caught using pots or creels design to enable escape of juvenile animals and allow eventual escape of all over time. Pots are checked regularly and retrieved if lost to avoid ‘ghost’ fishing.

Pots and creels are a selective and passive form of fishing causing little to no damage to the marine environment. Importantly, crab and lobster are alive when brought to the surface so that any animal which is undersize, damaged, showing eggs or has recently shed its shell will be returned to the sea alive allowing them to grow and breed, contributing to a healthy stock. Any bycatch must also be handled with care and returned to the sea as quickly as possible.

Both the Marine Conservation Society and the Marine Stewardship Council recognise crab caught within our local Inshore Potting Agreement, off the South Devon Coast, as an example of sustainable fishing.

Transport & Storage

The Blue Sea Food Company recognises that environmental conditions during transport and the maximum transport length are species-specific, and must take into account factors that vary by season (environmental conditions, temperature, the crustacean’s life cycle etc.). We have two types of transport based on duration of transportation and holding prior to processing. These dictate suitable environmental conditions to ensure maintenance of health and quality and to minimise physiological stress.

Short term transport is best accomplished in air, where the crustaceans are kept in a high humidity, dark, chilled environment to avoid stress. Longer term transport is best accomplished with immersion systems in which the water quality is managed by temperature control, aeration and water exchange to maintain optimum conditions. In general, we ensure that in air and water the environmental temperature is at or below the animals’ acclimation levels but above freezing. If in air, maintaining high humidity with protection from wind and sun. If in water, ensuring aeration systems are functional and water quality maintained.

For information on how the ecology and physiology of brown crab and lobster influence their response to capture and live transport, you can view the SAGB Advisory Note on Crustacea Storage and Transport here.

Dispatch

The Blue Sea Food Company ensures that all crustaceans well handle are electrically stunned to ensure instantaneous insensibility before cooking and processing. We do not sell live crustaceans direct to the consumer or the public.

Governance & Management

Our Managing Director is ultimately accountable for the decapod crustacean policy and oversight is provided by our Technical, H&S and Environment Manager. The day-to-day management of this policy and its implementation is the responsibility of our operations and transport teams.

A welfare action plan has been developed by our senior management team with specific welfare targets and responsibilities assigned within our welfare procedures. The team will meet several times a year to monitor progress and to hear updates from the different teams responsible for the day-to-day implementation and to identify and implement appropriate actions where necessary. The team will monitor progress of the company’s welfare targets and ensure that it publicly reports against these targets.

Electrical Stunning Targets

The Blue Sea Food Company is committed to reporting the percentage of crustaceans electrically stunned. We commit to electrically stunning 100% of crustaceans prior to cooking or processing. We will report through our website on the percentage of brown crab electrically stunned over a 12-month period. We will monitor this from the beginning of each financial year, with regular updates to the senior team and report publicly on an annual basis.

Decapod Crustacean Welfare Training

The Blue Sea Food Company are committed to ensuring all relevant employees have appropriate awareness and training regards to animal welfare. Training material related to the handling, storage and dispatch of crustaceans has been updated to include the importance of humane treatment of decapod crustacea.

Innovation

The Blue Sea Food Company continuously looks to improve its operations, including crustacean welfare, through internal and external research and development. In collaboration with Simon Buckhaven and the University of Bristol, we were instrumental in the development of the first commercially viable electrical stunner. The company stunning whole crab from its conception in 2004.  

We continue to encourage further innovation to address current gaps in decapod crustacean welfare technology. For example, the company has trialled equipment to band claws, however, an effective method that can be employed at sea, in a safe manner, is not currently available.

Reporting

We have set the targets below which we will regularly measure throughout the year and report on publicly annually.

  • 100% of our crustaceans are caught using static gear.
  • 100% of our crustaceans are electrically stunned before cooking and processing.
  • 90% of our transportation and holding times achieved.

This policy has been established and agreed by the company’s senior management who fully support its implementation and are responsible for ensuring that it is communicated, understood and implemented at all levels within the organisation.

DOWNLOAD POLICY DOCUMENT

Fishing:

All suppliers must be approved based on risk assessment (see 3.5 Supplier Approval Procedure and 3.5.1 Supplier Risk Assessment for details). Fishermen, agents and merchants will be chosen based on their ability to comply with the following procedures.

The capture method and handling practices during and immediately following capture must be such as to minimise trauma to the animal. Therefore:

  • All crab and lobster (animals) must be creel or pot caught and ideally creels and pots should be design to enable escape of juvenile animals and allow eventual escape of all over time.
  • Pots should be checked regularly and not left dormant for long periods.
  • Any lost pots must be retrieved where possible to avoid ‘ghost’ fishing. Fishermen’s associations are also encouraged to partner with organisations such as ‘Ghost Fishing UK’ to retrieve lost gear.
  • When landing and sorting, animals must be handled with care so as to avoid unnecessary stress or damage.
  • Any bycatch must also be handled with care and returned to the sea as quickly as possible.
  • Storage on board vessels will vary dependant on size and duration at sea. Day boats predominately store animal dry in fish trays or bongos. These should be covered with sacking and kept wet with sea water. Alternatively, the animals may be held in small sea water tanks, in this case the water must be continually replenished. Larger vivier boats will only be landing crab. These will be held in large sea water tanks with circulating sea water for the duration of the trip (5 to 7 days).
  • If held or transported in sea water tanks it is currently necessary to nick the claws of the crab so that the pincers are rendered powerless. This is to prevent crab from damaging each other during communal storage and transport. Although this undoubtably causes some trauma, failure to do so will result ultimately in further stress and the death of all of the animals.
  • Wherever possible nicking is to be avoided unless you know that crab will be stored in vivier tanks for prolonged periods.
  • Under no circumstances shall nicked crab be returned to the sea.

 

Transport:

It is recognised that during landing and transport for processing, stress to the animal cannot be totally avoided. Therefore, the company is committed to reducing transport and storage times wherever possible. The change in environment, temperature, water quality, exposure to air, light, noise, food deprivation, overcrowding, inability to hide and careless handling can all result in significant stress. Therefore, steps must be taken to minimise the impact of these for the welfare of the animal.

  • Crab pickups should be co-ordinated in order to minimise the time at the quayside and in transit. Trips vary from a few hours for local pick-ups to overnight journeys, maximum 24 hours. Journeys longer than this should be avoided.
  • During transfer from boat to transport, animals must be handled with care so as to avoid unnecessary stress or damage.
  • Crab transported ‘dry’ should be kept moist with the use of sacking and dependant on the length of the journey this may need to be refreshed. The temperature of the vehicle should also be controlled. The temperature should be such to avoid large temperature changes. Cool, moist, dark, quiet conditions being the ideal.
  • If transported in sea water tanks, again the water temperature should be such to avoid large temperature changes and must be aerated.

NOTE: It is important to understand the physiology of the animal to best manage the conditions they require. For crab and lobster see the ‘Shellfish Association of Great Britain’s Advisory Note on Crustacean Storage and Transport’ for guidance.

Holding:

Storage must be monitored in order to maintain the correct conditions. Crab held dry should be held under chilled conditions (again avoiding large changes in temperature) and keep damp by wetting sacking placed on top of each container. For crab held in sea water, ensure the aeration system is operating and the original water temperature is maintained. Crab is held overnight or through the weekend must be monitored closely. The storage must be reviewed and refreshed if required. Crab can be held for up to 60 hours if in good condition and stored correctly. However, ideally crab should be cooked within 24 hours of delivery.

Crab Processing:

Inspection:

All deliveries are inspected to assess the condition and quality of the crab from each boat and merchant. Where crab arrives in poor condition and investigation will be carried out to determine which point in the supply chain failed.

Suppliers which continue to supply poor condition or out of specification crab will be delisted (also see SOP81 Crab Inspection).

Dispatch:

All operatives handling animals should be appropriately trained. Crab and lobster can be brought to the production area in small fish trays or bongos to large dolav style tanks. If stored in water the water is drained before being brought into the area.

From the smaller containers the animals will be manually placed onto the processing line. Larger tanks will be tipped so that the animals can be pulled onto the line. All are handled as each crab or lobster is inspected. Dead animals are rejected. Large amounts of dead animals will be as a result of poor welfare in the supply chain and as such is taken very seriously. Fishermen are not paid for dead animals to encourage good handling and storage.

All crustaceans processed by the company are electrically stunned resulting in instantaneous insensibility to pain prior to immediate cooking.

Sale:

In the interests of animal welfare, live crustaceans (crab and lobster in this case) will not be sold to members of the public or untrained handlers.

Reporting:

The welfare of the animals we handle will be reported monthly. This will be measured by the following KPIs. It is the company’s intention to make year on year improvements throughout the supply chain:

  1. 100% of crustaceans caught using static gear.
  2. % of crustaceans humanely stunned (target 100%)
  3. % of nicked crab (Nicking of crab to be reduced through the development of better transportation methods and more immediate processing capabilities)
  4. % of dead crustaceans rejected (target <3%)
  5. 90% transportation and holding times achieved (target max 24 hour transport / max 24 hour holding).

 

DOWNLOAD POLICY DOCUMENT

The Blue Sea Food Company is an environmentally conscious organisation that acknowledges the potential impact our operations may have on the sustainability of the UK and EU crab fishery, fishing communities and the marine environment.

We are actively engaged with fishermen, customers, government and organisations such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of our fisheries and fishing communities.

We are also committed to ensuring the welfare of all the shellfish we handle. We endeavour to employ practices designed to reduce stress and maximise quality from landing all the way through to humane dispatch. We are engaged with SEAFISH, The Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) and Crustacean Compassion in developing and implementing codes of best practice to help protect the welfare of decapod crustaceans throughout the supply chain. More information can be found on the Seafish website.

All of our crab and lobsters are caught using pots or creels design to enable escape of juvenile animals and allow eventual escape of all over time. Pots are checked regularly and retrieved if lost to avoid ‘ghost’ fishing.

Pots and creels are a selective and passive form of fishing causing no damage to the marine environment. Importantly, crab and lobster are alive when brought to the surface so that any animal which is undersize, damaged, showing eggs or has recently shed its shell will be returned to the sea alive allowing them to grow and breed, contributing to a healthy stock. Any bycatch must also be handled with care and returned to the sea as quickly as possible.

Both the Marine Conservation Society and the Marine Stewardship Council recognise crab caught within our local Inshore Potting Agreement, off the South Devon Coast, as an example of sustainable fishing.

The Blue Sea Food Company, alongside Sea Farms and Macduff, have commissioned a pre-assessment and action plan for the whole of Area IVb Central North Sea. The Aim is to support Project UK in collecting data and using this to manage all of our fisheries around the UK in a sustainable way. Once complete this pre-assessment will lead to a new Fisheries Improvement Plan or ITM managed between the MSC and Blue Sea. Blue Sea also sits on the steering group for the MSC South West Sustainability Hub.

Terms & Conditions for the Sale of Goods

Buyer – the person firm or company who buys or agrees to buy the goods from the Seller.

Conditions – the terms & conditions of sale as set out below and any special terms & conditions agreed in writing by the Seller.

Contract – means any contract whether written or otherwise between the Seller and the Buyer for the supply of Goods

Goods – the goods which the Buyer agrees to buy from the Seller.

Price – the price payable by the Buyer for the Goods, excluding VAT [and any carriage, packaging and insurance costs].

Seller- means The Blue Sea Food Company Limited (registered in England & Wales with company number 4741730) of South Quay, The Harbour, Paignton, Devon. TQ4 6DT

2.1 These Conditions shall apply to any Contract   to the exclusion of all other terms & conditions including the Buyer’s standard conditions of purchase or  any other conditions which the Buyer may purport to apply under any purchase order or confirmation of order or any other document.

2.2 All orders for Goods shall be deemed to be an offer by the Buyer to purchase Goods from the Seller pursuant to these Conditions.

2.3 Acceptance of delivery of the Goods shall be deemed to be conclusive evidence of the Buyer’s acceptance of these Conditions.

2.4 The Contract (including these Conditions) may not be varied except by the written agreement of the Seller.

2.5 The Contract represents the whole of the agreement between the Seller and the Buyer. These Conditions supercede any other conditions previously issued.

3.1 The Price shall be the price quoted on the Seller’s [confirmation of order/delivery note]. The Price is exclusive of VAT which shall be due at the rate in force on the date of the Seller’s invoice.

3.2 The Seller shall not be bound by any price quoted which is not in writing

3.3 Unless otherwise stated in writing the Price shall be for delivery to the Customer’s premises in England & Wales.  Delivery of Goods to any other place shall be at the expense of the Buyer

4.1 Payment of the Price and VAT shall be due within 30 days of the date of the Seller’s invoice or within such other period as the Seller shall agree in writing.

4.2 Interest on overdue invoices shall accrue from the date when payment becomes due calculated on a daily basis until the date of payment at the rate 8% per annum above the Bank of England base rate from time to time in force.  Such interest shall accrue after as well as before any judgement.

4.3 The Buyer shall pay all accounts in full and not exercise any rights of set-off or counter-claim against invoices submitted by the Seller.

The quantity and description of the Goods shall be as set out in the Seller’s [confirmation of order/delivery note].

6.1 The Seller warrants that the Goods will at the time of delivery:-

(a) correspond to the description given by the Seller in the [confirmation of order/delivery note]; and

(b) be of satisfactory quality

6.2 Subject to clause 6.3, if :-

6.2.1 the Buyer gives notice in writing to the Seller within 24 hours after delivery that some or all of the Goods do not comply with the warranties set out in clause 6.1; and

6.2.2 the Seller is given a reasonable opportunity of examining such Goods; and 6.2.3 the Buyer (if asked to do so by the Seller) returns such Goods to the Seller’s place of business at the Seller’s reasonable cost,

the Seller shall, at its option, replace the defective Goods or refund the price of the defective Goods in full.

6.3 The Seller shall not be liable for Goods failing to comply with the warranties set out in clause 6.1 if:-

6.3.1 the Buyer makes any further use of such Goods after giving notice in accord-ance with clause 6.2; or

6.3.2 the defect arises because the Buyer failed to follow the Seller’s oral or written instructions as to the storage and handling of the Goods

6.3.2 the defect arises because the Buyer failed to follow the Seller’s oral or written instructions as to the storage and handling of the Goods

6.4 Except as provided in this clause the Seller shall have no further liability to the Buyer in respect of the Goods failure to comply with the warranties set out in clause 6.1

6.5 Except as set out in these Conditions, all warranties, conditions and other terms implied by statute or common law are, to the fullest extent permitted by law excluded from the Contract.

7.1 Delivery of the Goods shall be made to the Buyer’s address [or such other location as the parties may agree]. The Buyer shall make all arrangements necessary to take delivery of the Goods on the day notified by the Seller for delivery.

7.2 The Seller undertakes to use its reasonable endeavours to despatch the Goods on an agreed delivery date, but does not guarantee to do so. Time of delivery shall not be the essence of the Contract.

7.3 The Seller shall not be liable to the Buyer for any loss or damage whether arising directly or indirectly from the late delivery or short delivery of the Goods.  If short delivery does take place, the Buyer undertakes not to reject the Goods but to accept the Goods delivered as part performance of the Contract.

7.4 If the Buyer fails to take delivery of the Goods on the agreed delivery date or, if no specific delivery date has been agreed, when the Goods are ready for despatch, the Seller shall be entitled to:-

7.4.1 store and insure the Goods and to charge the Buyer the reasonable costs of so doing; and

7.4.2 resell or otherwise dispose of part or all of the Goods and, after deducting reasonable storage and selling costs, account to the Buyer for any excess over the Price or charge the Buyer for any shortfall below the Price.

8.1 The Buyer shall be deemed to have accepted the Goods 24 hrs after delivery to the Buyer.

Privacy Policy

Blue Sea Food Company Limited (www.devoncrab.co.uk) understands that your privacy is important to you and that you care about how your personal data is used. We respect and value the privacy of all of our customers and will only collect and use personal data in ways that are described here, and in a way that is consistent with our obligations and your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018).

  1. What Does This Notice Cover?
    This Privacy Information explains how we use your personal data: how it is collected, how it is held, and how it is processed. It also explains your rights under the GDPR and DPA 2018 relating to your personal data.

  2. What is Personal Data?
    Personal data is any information about you that enables you to be identified. Personal data covers obvious information such as your name and contact details, but it also covers less obvious information such as identification numbers, electronic location data, and other online identifiers. The personal data that we use is set out in Part 4.

  3. What Are Your Rights?
    Under the GDPR and DPA 2018, you have the following rights, which we will always work to uphold:
    • The right to be informed about our collection and use of your personal data.
    • The right to access the personal data we hold about you.
    • The right to have your personal data rectified if any of your personal data held by us is inaccurate or incomplete.
    • The right to be forgotten, i.e., the right to ask us to delete or otherwise dispose of any of your personal data that we have.
    • The right to restrict (i.e., prevent) the processing of your personal data.
    • The right to object to using your personal data for a particular purpose or purposes.
    • The right to data portability.
    • Rights relating to automated decision-making and profiling. We do not use your personal data in this way.


Further information about your rights can also be obtained from the Information Commissioner’s Office or your local Citizens Advice Bureau. If you have any cause for complaint about our use of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

  1. What Personal Data Do You Collect?
    We collect the following personal data through our WordPress form: Website – Contact Us
    • Name
    • Company
    • Email address
    • Phone number
    • Message

  2. How Long Will You Keep My Personal Data?
    We will not keep your personal data for any longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected.

  3. How and Where Do You Store or Transfer My Personal Data?
    We will only store or transfer your personal data in the UK. This means that it will be fully protected under the DPA 2018. Data that is collected is processed and stored via WordPress.

  4. Do You Share My Personal Data?
    In some limited circumstances, we may be legally required to share certain personal data, which might include yours, if we are involved in legal proceedings or complying with legal obligations, a court order, or the instructions of a government authority. We may share your personal data with WordPress for processing and storage.

  5. How Can I Access My Personal Data?
    If you want to know what personal data we have about you, you can ask us for details of that personal data and for a copy of it (where any such personal data is held). This is known as a “subject access request”. All subject access requests should be made in writing and sent to the email or postal addresses shown in Part 10. There is not normally any charge for a subject access request. If your request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’ (e.g., repetitive), a fee may be charged to cover our administrative costs in responding.

  6. How Do I Contact You?
    To contact us about anything to do with your personal data and data protection, including to make a subject access request, please use the following details: Email address: admin@devoncrab.co.ukPostal Address: Unit 20, Torbay Business Park, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 7HP, UK

  7. Cookies
    A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes a unique identifier that is sent to your computer, tablet or mobile phone (referred to here as a “device”) web browser from a website’s computer and is stored on your device’s hard drive. Our website uses cookies to improve your experience by, for example, remembering your preferences and visits, which allows us to improve our website based on user needs. We do not store personally identifiable information in cookies we create, but we do use encrypted information gathered from them to enhance your experience of our site.

  8. Changes to this Privacy Notice
    We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time. This may be necessary, for example, if the law changes, or if we change our business in a way that affects personal data protection.


This Privacy Notice is valid as of 20/02/2024. Updated: 20/02/2024.

Play Video

Introducing the Year of the Great British Crab Sandwich

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share some fantastic crab sandwich recipes. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram for all the updates.