2021 Newfoundland and Labrador Snow crab quotas increase by 29 per cent

News release

March 29, 2021

St. John’s, NL – The Government of Canada is committed to responsibly managing Snow crab fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure the sustainability of the stock for today and generations to come. This work requires close collaboration with harvesters, the Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union,  Indigenous partners, and other stakeholders while also considering socioeconomic factors and the most recent science advice. 

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that the 2021 Snow crab fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador will have a total allowable catch (TAC) of 38,186 tonnes. This management decision represents an overall quota increase of approximately 29 per cent from 2020.

The specific increases and decreases, based on science advice, vary by Snow crab Area, specifically: 

  • Snow crab Area 3Ps – 53 per cent increase;
  • Snow crab Area 4R3Pn – 35 per cent increase;
  • Snow crab Area 3LNO – 34 per cent increase;
  • Snow crab Area 3K – 16 per cent increase; and
  • Snow crab Area 2HJ – 20 per cent decrease.

Over the last several years there have been significant TAC reductions due to decreases in the Snow crab biomass. The 2021 Snow crab science assessment found modest improvements in most areas, which are likely to continue in the short-term. It is important to note, however, that while current trends are positive, the overall stock is still not near levels seen in past.  

Quotes

“Our government understands how important the Snow crab fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador is to the provincial economy, and to rural and coastal communities. After taking steps in recent years to protect the health of the Snow crab population and ensure long term sustainability of the stock, I am very pleased to share that, for 2021, the total allowable catch will be increasing across nearly the whole province.  Our rigorous scientific stock assessment process has shown modest improvements, allowing us to support the livelihoods of Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesters while collaborating to protect the Snow crab resource.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The recent Snow crab stock assessment found that there were increases in exploitable biomass index in all Snow crab Assessment Divisions except 2HJ.

  • A total of nine Snow crab advisory meetings were held across Newfoundland & Labrador from March 1-12, 2021 where Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) heard the views of harvesters, representatives of the Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union,  our Indigenous partners, and other stakeholders.

  • The stock assessment of Snow crab in Area 2HJ, off the coast of Labrador,  found persistently high fishing pressure, low residual biomass, declines in males at size of maturity and declines in mature female abundance. For these reasons, the total allowable catch in this area is being reduced by 20 per cent.

Associated links

Contacts

Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-550-9594
Jane.Deeks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Region
MediaNL@DFO-MPO.GC.CA

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