Language selection


Total Allowable Catch and allocation for the scientific survey for Snow Crab in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence for 2021 (areas 12, 12E, 12F and 19)

Moncton and Quebec – March 22, 2021

Precautionary approach harvest decision rules and Total Allowable Catch

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announces the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for Snow crab
in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (sGSL). Several indicators are pointing towards the overestimation of the 2019 and 2020 survey indices. Given that the bias could range from 10 to over 30%, DFO will apply a 15% correction (reduction) to the commercial biomass as a precautionary measure.

With this correction, applying the harvest decision rules of the Precautionary Approach for setting the TAC results in an exploitation rate of 38.3%. DFO accepts a lower exploitation rate of 20.69% in Crab Fishing Area (CFA) 12F, at the request of this fleet, as an additional precautionary measure.

The TAC available for the 2021 sGSL Snow crab fishery is 24,261.44 t.

Scientific survey quota

In accordance with Section 10 of the Fisheries Act, a quota of 450 t of Snow crab has been identified to assist with the financing of the annual scientific trawl survey. This survey is part of the DFO-Industry joint project to fund science support for effective management of the sGSL Snow crab stock. This allocation will be taken off the top of the 2021 TAC.

As in 2019 and 2020, a joint project agreement is in place with Snow crab fish harvesters associations who expressed interest in the project. These associations will guide the management and the transfer of the necessary funds to carry out DFO’s scientific survey and supporting research activities.

The Association des Crabiers Acadiens (ACA) is designated to ensure the management of the associated quota. The ACA will be contacting the various groups representing the sGSL stakeholders, as well as Indigenous communities and the new access, to offer them the option to acquire a share of this allocation for the purpose of funding the 2021 scientific survey.

Distribution of the TAC

The distribution of the TAC in each of the management zones in the sGSL and the scientific survey allocation is as follows:
Areas Quota 2021 (t)
Area 12 20,128.83
Area 12E 288.45
Area 12F 1,192.24
Area 19 2,201.92
Scientific survey quota 450.00
Total 24,261.44

Other information

Details on management measures for each CFA will follow in separate notices to fish harvesters.

For more information:

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