February 26, 2021 – Snow crab harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador are cautiously optimistic following an overall positive assessment update today from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). In most regions, which constitute 95% of annual landings, the stock is showing steady improvement. The exception is 2HJ, adjacent to Labrador, where catch rates remained steady but did not increase.
For areas such as 3Ps and 3K, which faced poor snow crab prospects in the recent past, favourable ecosystem factors and survey results provide optimism not just for the present but also for future years. All snow crab areas, including 2HJ, were above the limit reference point, with some areas, such as 3Ps, being well above the limit reference point line.
“It’s positive news for 3K,” said La Scie harvester Trevor Jones, who attended the online Assessment with four other harvesters. “It looks like we’re heading in the right direction for rebuilding the stock.”
“All areas are showing improvements, and this year’s Assessment is an indication of increasing crab biomass and stability of the stock in the long term,” said Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President.
“FFAW is part of a working group on DFO’s Precautionary Approach (PA) framework and this has provided harvesters with a much-needed forum to have their input into how the PA is applied,” Sullivan continued. “This working group has been constructive. Nonetheless, we can not repeat the mistakes of the past by ignoring harvester knowledge and excluding them from this from science and management processes. With harvesters and scientists working together, we can build a management plan for a sustainable – and profitable – fishery,”
CLICK HERE to see the full presentation document provided by DFO this morning.
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