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2023 - Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Snow Crab Conservation Harvesting Plan for Crab Fishing Area 12 (12, 18, 25, 26)

Moncton and Quebec – March 31, 2023

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) releases the details of the 2023 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 31,466.78 t. Details of the sharing of the TAC can be found in the CFA 12 snow crab administrative list.

Quota reconciliation

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.

Quota transfers

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. Temporary transfers are only allowed within the same DFO administrative area (ENB, PEI, GNS, QC).

There has been a merger of certain ITQ Programs in Quebec in 2023. Please refer to the Notice to Fish Harvester for more information: Merging ITQ programs 2023 season.

Partnership arrangements

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. Any overrun incurred from the previous year must be communicated and acknowledged by the licence holders entering the partnership since DFO will deduct the amount of overrun from the combined quota of the partnership.

Fishing Gear Reporting System (or Lost Gear Reporting)

Fish harvesters can create their account of lost gear and report their data through the system.

New in 2023—Hail out telephone number

Beginning with the 2023 fishing season, fish harvesters from both Gulf and Quebec Regions will be required to dial the following new telephone number for new hail, modified hail, and cancelled hail:

2023 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 2023 include, amongst others:

2023 management measures to minimize interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales

The management measures to minimize interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW) will be communicated separately and posted online on the DFO website.

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