2022 - Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Snow Crab Conservation Harvesting Plan Crab Fishing Area 12 (12, 18, 25, 26)
Moncton and Quebec – March 31, 2022
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) releases the details of the 2022 snow crab fishery Conservation Harvesting Plan for the Crab Fishing Area (CFA) 12 (12, 18, 25, 26).
The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in CFA 12 is 28,065.24 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. Any individual quota overrun incurred by licence holders in one season will be deducted, on a one-for-one basis, from their individual quota for the following season. It is the responsibility of the licence holders to track their quotas to ensure that catches taken in the course of their fishing operations comply with the quotas allocated to them.
Licence holders who are subject to the owner-operator policy may transfer up to 50% of their initial quota on a temporary basis, within one fishing season.
The creation of partnerships is permitted. The number of traps would be 1.5 times the number of traps of the licence with the greater number of traps.
New in 2022
In 2022, all commercial fisheries in Canada have a new condition of licence relating to the discharge of garbage from Canadian fishing vessels. The licence holder/operator is prohibited from discarding in Canadian fisheries waters from their vessel any time that may be harmful to fish or fish habitat.
Fishing gear reporting system (or Lost gear reporting)
A new online system was launched in July 2021 to allow commercial harvesters to conveniently input lost and retrieved gear information from any smart electronic device. The system is able to capture information such as descriptions, cause of loss and location of the lost gear. Fish harvesters can create their account and begin reporting their data through the system at this website: Sign in (dfo-mpo.gc.ca).
Possible access to CFA 12
As in 2021, the Department will continue to support access to CFA 12 for fish harvesters impacted by the closure of fishing grounds in CFAs 12E and/or 12F as a result of the application of management measures for the protection of NARWs.
The access criteria will be communicated separately in a Notice to Fish Harvesters.
2022 management measures
Unless indicated otherwise, existing management measures remain in place. Please refer to your Snow crab licence conditions for further details. The management measures in 2022 include, amongst others:
- At-sea observer coverage representing 20% of fishing trips.
- The soft-shell crab protocol.
- 100% dockside monitoring.
- Only one valid annual tag per trap. Tags from previous years must be removed. The color for original tags must be royal blue, while the color for replacement tags must be grey.
- Paper logbook requirement is maintained. Refer to the following list of Prequalified Logbook Suppliers (dfo-mpo.gc.ca). The use of an electronic logbook (ELOG) is voluntary in 2022.
- 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.
- Gear marking requirements are maintained.
- In order to continue protecting NARW, all licence holders will have the same total number of authorized traps as in 2021.
- The Irving Whale Exclusion Zone is maintained.
- A delayed season opening to June 1st 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 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.
- The use of a vessel monitoring system (VMS) with five (5) minutes reporting intervals.
- The inshore regulations require inshore commercial licence holders, and their approved Substitute Operators, to keep records of all the crew members working aboard the vessel on every fishing trip. These records must be maintained by the licence holder for a period of five (5) years.
- The Opening Date Committee 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 fishery will close on June 30, 2022 at 23:59 hrs (Atlantic Daylight Time). All gear must be removed from the water by the end of the day June 30th, meaning that the hauling of gear is prohibited after June 30th, but landing of traps and crabs can occur on July 1st.
2022 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 here.
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.
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