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2022 - Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and allocation for the scientific survey for Snow crab in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence for Areas 12, 12E, 12F and 19

Moncton and Quebec – March 17, 2022

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). Applying the harvest decision rules that conforms to the Precautionary Approach for setting the TAC,  the estimated commercial biomass from the 2021 survey results in an exploitation rate of 41%. DFO has accepted the recommendation of the Area 12F fleet to fix, as an additional precautionary measure, a lower exploitation rate of 26.6% in that zone.

The TAC available for the 2022 sGSL Snow crab fishery is 32,519 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 2022 TAC.

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 fleets, to offer them the option to acquire a share of this allocation for the purpose of funding the 2022 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 2022 (t)
Area 12 28,065.24
Area 12E 195.24
Area 12F 1,164.00
Area 19 2,644.92
Scientific survey quota 450.00
Total 32,519.41

Other information

The Conservation Harvest Plan for each crab fishing area will follow in separate notices to fish harvesters.  

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.

For more information:

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

Antoine Rivierre
Resource Management
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Quebec, Quebec


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