Meat/Seafood/Poultry Northeast

National Fisheries Institute Elects New Crab Council Chairman

Assorted crabs, including a blue swimmer crab

Brice Phillips, director of club store sales for Phillips Foods, a Baltimore-based seafood company, in December was elected chairman of the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) Crab Council. Phillips assumed the chairmanship of the nearly 10-year old crab sustainability group immediately following his election.

Founded in 2009 the council finances global blue swimming crab sustainability work through contributions from participating companies and has received grants from the World Bank, the Walton Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Seafood Industry Research Fund. The precompetitive collaboration funds and operates Fisheries Improvement Projects in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India.

Phillips has a background in the seafood business having spent his career with Phillips Foods, one of the founding member companies of the NFI Crab Council. 

Phillips has served on the executive committee of the NFI Crab Council since 2017, helping to approve council agendas and budgets, participating in council calls and introducing council policy.

“I am honored to be elected to the chairmanship of the NFI Crab Council. As chairman, I will continue moving the blue swimming crab industry toward sustainability, driving the industry forward by implementing fishery improvement programs and broadening the scope of sustainable fisheries and responsible aquaculture,” said Phillips.

The goal of the council is to ensure crab populations, the ecosystems they depend on and the communities that rely on the fisheries remain viable now and for generations to come. It members collectively represent around 85 percent of the total Blue Swimming Crab imported into the U.S. These companies have taken responsibility for their industry’s future by pledging resources, commitment and funding to the future of crab. The council’s member companies each pledge $.02 per pound of crab meat imported into the U.S. and also initiate and sponsor fishery improvement projects in the crab producing countries of Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Brice Phillips has been a steward of institutional change in the fishery industry, and for the last year, he has helped us move the needle at NFI Crab Council. His insights, passion and commitment strengthen the council, and we believe his chairmanship will be filled with the same tenacity and rigor he has used through his tenure at Phillips Foods and that brought sustainability measures to the forefront of the seafood industry,” said Ed Rhodes, NFI Crab Council executive director.

“The NFI Crab Council is one of the most successful precompetitive collaborations in seafood,” said Phillips. “It has a storied past and a bright future. That may involve new policies, new focuses, new investments and new partnerships. Whatever the next chapters bring, they will certainly involve committed companies that are willing to put crab sustainability first. I am excited to work with partners who are dedicated to this mission.”

About the author

Kristen Brissette

Kristen lives on Cape Cod and enjoys working in the food industry. She loves attending food shows and meeting others in the field.

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