March 29, 2021 – The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) released the management plan for the 2021 snow crab fishery today. The management plan includes a significant increase of 29% in quotas, which is very welcome news for both fish harvesters and plant workers who were cautiously optimistic following the positive science assessment this year.
“We are very pleased with the management plan for 2021. Harvesters have taken significant cuts in the past to ensure a healthy fishery and, overall, the management plan for the 2021 snow crab fishery shows that DFO is listening to the concerns raised by harvesters,” said FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan.
The FFAW crab committees met virtually with DFO this month to make recommendations, and the good news today demonstrates a serious effort towards a more collaborative approach for a management plan.
“There are good signs of young crab coming into the fishery for most areas in the next 2 to 4 years,” said Tony Doyle, VP of FFAW’s Inshore Council and a member of the crab committee. “It looks like we are on a trend to better quotas and fishing for the next few years.”
DFO’s 2020 Snow Crab Assessment indicated improvements to the stock in most areas, with data supporting increasing crab biomass and stability of the stock in the long term. Harvesters will see a 16% increase in quota in 3K, a 34% increase in 3LNL, a 35% increase in 4R3Pn, and a 53% increase in the 3Ps quota. The exception is 2HJ, which has a 20% decrease, and a status quo for the Collaborative Post-Season Trap Survey (Use of Fish) quota.
“This management plan is proof that by science and lived experience working together, we can get results and build a sustainable fishery that works for harvesters, plant workers and their communities,” concluded Sullivan.
The 2021 Snow Crab Fishery Management Plan can be viewed here.
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