Canada assessment finds no major changes to snow crab stock

Fishermen in Canada pull in a snow crab pot
Fishermen in Canada pull in a snow crab pot | Photo courtesy of the government of Prince Edward Island
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Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans released its annual stock assessment on snow crab, finding that the stock remains on par with last year and signaling there will likely be little change in 2024 quota. 

According to the CBC, the stock assessment showed the snow crab fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador – one of the region's most lucrative fisheries – remained relatively stable, with the exception of area 2HJ. That zone remains in the “cautious” category, which is a spot it was also in last year's assessment.

Though there is likely to be little change in 2024, scientists signaled that warm waters could have an impact on the future stock.

"We've been in a warming period since 2018. Now, in 2023, it was a little bit closer to normal than 2022 and 2021, which were ... quite warm," DFO Biologist Julia Pantin told the CBC. "I think what we need to do is keep looking at these small sizes of crab. We are seeing fewer of them, so there's going to be fewer to grow into exploitable size, presumably. The small crab coming up through and hopefully reaching exploitable size is something really important to keep an eye on."

The Fish Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) had a mixed reaction to the new assessment but particularly welcomed the ...

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