This morning, FFAW-Unifor members participated in a technical briefing by DFO Science on the most recent Snow Crab Stock Assessment for 2HJ3KLNOP4R.
Key takeaways from the briefing show that overall there no major change to the snow crab biomass, however there are some concerns regarding exploitable biomass in some areas.
Overall oceanographic conditions were better for crab and crab recruitment last year with a return to cooler water conditions. Additionally, there are some positive signs of incoming recruitment that could result in increases to the exploitable biomass in the future.
These encouraging signs can be seen in the trawl survey and in the small mesh pots of the post-season survey. Much of the information about future recruitment comes from the Post Season Crab Pot Survey conducted by FFAW members. The number of small mesh posts in the post-season survey have more than tripled, increasing the value of this survey as an index of incoming recruitment. FFAW is stressing that DFO have increased participation from harvesters in both science and management processes.
FFAW-Unifor is hopeful that there will be no major cuts to the total allowable catch for the 2018 season. Harvesters will be participating in upcoming management advisory meetings to bring forward their views.
Since 2014, the per pound price for snow crab has increased by 88%, from $2.34 per pound to $4.39. This is the largest multi-year jump in the history of the snow crab fishery in the province. Your Union’s panel victory in 2017 brought an extra $21.4 million in value to crab harvesters, despite cuts of 22% to the quota.