2020 - Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab Conservation Harvesting Plan for Area 12 (12, 18, 25, 26)
Moncton and Quebec – March 25, 2020
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) releases the details of the 2020 Crab Fishing Area (CFA) 12 (12, 18, 25, 26) Conservation Harvesting Plan.
The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in CFA 12 is 27,203.70 t. Details of the sharing of the TAC can be found in the CFA 12 snow crab administrative list.
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.
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.
The creation of partnerships is permitted. The trap limit for partnerships will be equal to the total traps of one licence, plus 50%.
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:
- At-sea observer coverage representing 20% of fishing trips will be required for 2020.
- The soft-shell crab protocol.
- Only one valid annual tag per trap. Tags from previous years must be removed. The color
- 100% dockside monitoring.
- Landings weighed in kilograms on an electronic scale with a memory.
- Maximum mesh size of 75 mm.
- Authorized release of commercial-sized male crab with small claws back in the water.
- A delayed season opening to June 1 applies to an area in CFA 12 for one nautical mile bordering on CFA 19. The buffer zone between CFAs 18 and 19 remains in effect.
- The Irving Whale Exclusion Zone is maintained.
- The industry-led Opening Date Committee of the fishery is assessing conditions and will recommend a targeted opening date. Opening the fishery is subject to weather conditions and to DFO operational requirements as described in the Terms of Reference for Setting the Opening Date for the Fishery. The opening date will be confirmed in a separate Notice to Fish Harvesters and by the issuance of a variation order.
- The use of a vessel monitoring system (VMS) with five (5) minutes reporting intervals. Harvesters are asked to register their VMS with DFO as soon as possible.
- The fishery will close on June 30, 2020 at 24:00 hrs (ADT). All gear must be removed from the water by the end of the day June 30, 2020, meaning that the hauling of gear is prohibited after June 30th, but landing of traps and crabs can occur on July 1st.
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.
Trap limits in 2020
In order to continue protecting NARW, all licence holders will have the same total number of authorized traps as in 2019. The following trap limits will be in place for the 2020 fishing season.
- Licence holders holding less than 0.22% of the CFA 12 TAC will be permitted 75 traps*. For 2020, this limit applies to licence holders who are part of the following fleets:
- Prince Edward Island Inshore Traditional Fleet
- Area 18 Inshore Traditional Fleet
- New access licence holders with individual quotas
- Licence holders holding 0.44% or more of the CFA 12 TAC will be permitted 150 traps*. For 2020, this represents licence holders that are part of the traditional midshore fleet.
* Note: Additional traps may be permitted in accordance with the individual transferable quota program administrative guidelines.
- New access groups who designate operators will be authorized the same number of traps as in 2019, resulting in a limit of one trap per0.707 tonne (or 1 trap per 1,558 pounds) for 2020.
- New access groups may distribute traps to each designated licence holder/operator the way that is most favorable to them; however, a maximum of 150 traps per licence holder/operator will be the reference.
- First Nations have the ability to designate operators under the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations. First Nations will be authorized the same number of traps as in 2019, resulting in a limit of one trap per 0.707 tonne (or 1 trap per 1,558 pounds) for 2020.
- First Nations may distribute traps to each designated licence holder/operator the way that is most favorable to them; however, a maximum of 150 traps per licence holder/operator will be the reference.
Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area
The Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area (MPA) is in place in order to the ensure the conservation and protection of this marine ecosystem.
Provisions of the Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area Regulations apply to licence holders. In order to comply with them, please refer to the clauses that apply to your fishing activities.
Map showing the Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area
For more information
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Moncton, New Brunswick
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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