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February 27, 2024

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Today, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Science Department provided a technical briefing on the latest stock assessment for snow crab in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Our members will certainly be relieved to see the long-awaited merger of two areas in 3L. A significant amount of work by volunteer harvesters and Union staff has gone into the Precautionary Approach for snow crab. The new 3LNO assessment division will improve how the crab PA is applied. … and as, long-time harvesters have repeatedly reminded us all, linking Bonavista Bay and St. Mary’s Bay did not make much biological sense,” says FFAW-Unifor President Greg Pretty.

There was no change in the stock status of all assessment divisions, with 3K, 3Ps and eth new combined 3LNO divisions remaining in the healthy zone of the PA. There were however, concerns in 3K, with declines in exploitable biomass.

Trevor Jones, fleet chair and harvester from 3K, says, “The science is not what we had hoped to have seen. We recognize there are things that affected the fishery of 2023 such as a late start to the season and a high level of predation in 3K4, but we also recognize the fishery didn’t perform as well as we would have liked. We will take all this and the science advice into consideration when making our recommendations to DFO for the upcoming season.”

Overall, FFAW-Unifor is pleased with the considerable work that has gone into this assessment, in particular to support the combining of the 3L inshore and 3LNO offshore assessment divisions.