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DFO Releases Management Plan for 2018 Snow Crab Season

April 5, 2018

Read the full management plan here:

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Today the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) released the management plan for snow crab.

The TAC for the Newfoundland and Labrador Region in 2018 is 28,975 tonnes, a significant overall quota level decrease of approximately 17 per cent from 2017. Some areas have fared better than others, with small increases to the quota in some areas of 3Ps and 3K.

Fish harvesters, plant workers, and entire communities are reliant on the inshore fishing industry, and the sharp declines in both crab and shrimp quotas are having grave economic impacts felt around the province.

Like northern shrimp, the decline in snow crab stocks is not due to overfishing, rather it is a result of an environmental shift in the ocean ecosystem. However, this year’s stock assessment has highlighted positive signs of recruitment for snow crab in some areas. DFO must work more closely with harvesters and take changes to the ecosystem into consideration when managing the fishery.

Quotas for 2018 are as follows:


The overall quota in 3K will increase by 2% to 5,932 tonnes

  • Harvest level in 3C will be increased by 20%
  • Harvest level in 3D will be increased by 10%
  • Harvest levels in 3A, 3B, 3BC and 3K4 will remain unchanged



The overall quota in 3LNO will be decreased by 24% in 2018 to 18,875

  • Harvest levels in Midshore, Midshore extended and 3L extended will be decreased by 15%
  • Harvest levels in area 6A will be decreased by 20%
  • Harvest levels in areas 5A, 6B, 6C, 8A, 8B, 8Bx, 8Bx North, 8Bx South, Nearshore, and outside 200 miles will be decreased by 30%
  • Harvest levels in 9A will be decreased by 40%



The overall quota for 3Ps will be increased by 19%

  • Harvest levels in 10A, 10B, 11S, and 11W will be increased by 20%
  • Harvest levels in area 11E will remain unchanged



  • Harvest levels for 2GHJ will remain unchanged



  • Harvest levels will be decreased by 50%


Read the full management plan here: