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2020 - Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab Conservation Harvesting Plan for Area 12E

Moncton and Quebec – March 25, 2020

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) releases the details of the 2020 Crab Fishing Area (CFA) 12E Conservation Harvesting Plan.


The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in CFA 12E is 239.37 t and is distributed to the existing fleet based on historic shares of 75% for New Brunswick (179.530 t), and 12.5% respectively for Quebec and Prince Edward Island (29.922 t each).

Quota reconciliation

Quota reconciliation is applied in this fishery. Quota overruns during the 2020 season by a licence holder will be deducted in 2021 on a one-for-one basis. It is the responsibility of the licence holder to respect the allocation granted while taking into consideration transfers and landings and has to make the necessary arrangements before departing for a fishing expedition to have quota to cover expected catches for the expedition.

Temporary transfers

Licence holders who are subject to the owner-operator policy may transfer up to 50% of his or her initial quota on a temporary basis, within one fishing season.

At-Sea observer coverage

At-sea observer coverage representing 20% of fishing trips will be required for 2020.

Partnership arrangements

The creation of partnerships is permitted. The trap limit for partnerships will be equal to the total traps of one licence, plus 50%.

Catch limit

Due to the exceptional situation caused by the Coronavirus, the snow crab fishery could be subject to a fishing trip catch limit. Industry will be notified by DFO in the event that catch limits are established.

2020 Management measures

The management measures in 2020 include, amongst others:

Gear Marking

Gear marking is in place in this fishery. Specific requirements are explained in the Notice to Fish Harvesters that was issued January 31, 2020 and details of these requirements can be found in your licence conditions.

2020 Management measures to minimize interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales

The Management measures to minimize interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW) can be found at the following link.

Permanent Fishing closures

Coral and sponge conservation areas: On December 15, 2017, Fisheries and Oceans Canada created eleven coral and sponge conservation areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence in order to protect areas with high concentrations of sponges and sea pens.

All fishing activities that use bottom-contact gear or gear designed to come into contact with the sea bed, including but not limited to bottom trawls, dredges, gillnets, bottom longlines, bottom seines and traps, are forbidden in the conservation areas.

For more information and maps of the eleven coral and sponge conservation areas, please visit the following website.

For more information

Josiane Massiéra
Resource Management
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Moncton, New Brunswick
Jérôme Beaulieu
Resource Management
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Quebec, Quebec
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