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Meeting to Review Approach Snow Crab Framework

September 16, 2019

Fourteen Snow Crab Committee Chairs met at FFAW last Friday to review progress on the development of an alternative management approach and decision-making framework for NL snow crab.

When FFAW met with the Snow Crab committees last April, the committees clearly stated that they want to manage for stability. This included keen interest in understanding and protecting incoming recruitment but also interest in keeping an eye on the amount of old shell crab in the fishery. Harvesters wanted to protect incoming recruits (minimize soft-shell discarding) and fish crab when they are in prime condition (minimizing mossy or graveyard crab).

These overall objectives were used as a starting point for the work of Fisheries Scientists Earl Dawe and Erin Carruthers in developing a management approach for NL Snow Crab. Dawe and Carruthers presented their analyses of snow crab data at the meeting this past Friday. Crab committee chairs then provided valuable feedback on the work including suggestions to better address harvesters’ goals for the fishery and concerns about crab management.

The review meeting on Friday was an important step in the process of building an alternative approach to the management of snow crab in Newfoundland and Labrador, one that meets both fishing and conservation goals for NL snow crab. Following on from the Friday meeting, FFAW scientists will address the feedback from harvesters and will bring the revised work to snow crab committees and fleets throughout the province. Those meetings are planned for mid-late October. Again, feedback from those consultations will be used to further refine an alternative management approach for crab, which will then be presented to DFO for their review.

In addition to crab fleet, FFAW staff included John Boland, Miranda McGrath, Erin Carruthers and David Decker with Fisheries Consultant Earl Dawe. Martin Henri, from DFO Fisheries Management attended part of the meeting as an observer.

Crab Committee Chairs:

Trevor Jones
Chad Payne
Dwight Russell
Ken Viscount
Albert Stacey
Wade Savoury
Ivan Batten
Glen Newbury
Dwight Petten
Andrew Daley
Keith Smith
Jim Chidley
Wayne Hicks
Gerard Hounsell