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2023 - Total allowable catch and allocation for the scientific survey for snow crab in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence for 2023 (areas 12, 12E, 12F and 19)

Moncton and Quebec – March 23, 2023

Precautionary approach harvest decision rules and total allowable catch

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) today announces the total allowable catch (TAC) for snow crab in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (sGSL). Applying the harvest decision rules in accordance to the precautionary approach for setting the TAC,  the estimated commercial biomass from the 2022 survey results in an exploitation rate of 41.79%. DFO accepted the recommendation from the Area 12F fleet to fix the exploitation rate of 30.0% in that fishing zone.

The TAC available for the 2023 sGSL snow crab fishery is 35,216.06.

Scientific survey quota

In accordance with Section 10 of the Fisheries Act, a quota of 450 t of snow crab has been set aside 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 2023 TAC, prior to the initial distribution of the quota.

A joint project agreement is in place with snow crab fish harvesters associations. 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 communicating with the various stakeholder groups representing the sGSL industry, including First Nations and the new access fleets, to offer them the option to acquire a share of this allocation for the purpose of funding the 2023 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:
Distribution of TAC Quota 2023 (t)
Area 12 31,466.78
Area 12E 291.39
Area 12F 1,319.36
Area 19 1,688.53
Scientific survey quota 450
Total 35,216.06

Other information

Conservation harvest plans for each crab fishing areas will follow in separate notices.

The opening date will be confirmed in a separate notice to fish harvesters and by the issuance of a variation order.

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