It’s time for snow crab fishing in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence: fishermen have obtained authorization from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to leave in the early morning hours of Wednesday.
In its press release issued Monday, the federal department indicated that the area is ice-free and that activities can be carried out safely.
Area 12 fishermen share an allowable catch rate of just over 28,000 tonnes, which represents an increase of about 40% over 2021.
In Area 12F, the total quota for crabbers is 1164T, and they could start their season at midnight.
The most recent DFO scientific survey indicates an abundant snow crab stock and positive indicators for the species, which leads to an exploitation rate of 40% of the commercial biomass estimated according to the precautionary approach.
The announcement of the trip authorization came at a time when industry stakeholders had been calling for an imminent start to the fishery for the past two weeks in order to avoid, as much as possible, the presence of North Atlantic right whales cutting short their season, which ends on June 30.
It should be remembered that the detection of a whale leads to a fishing ban in the area where it is sighted and can cause a seasonal closure of the sector.
The first snow crab landings are expected on Friday on the Magdalen Islands wharves.
Origional post here: https://cfim.ca/debut-de-la-saison-du-crabe-des-neiges-dans-la-12-et-la-12f/