March 18, 2014
Heavy ice in Atlantic Canada will likely delay start of crab season in Gulf and Newfoundland
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS by John Sackton - March 17, 2014
In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, ice conditions are the heaviest in 30 years. Along the Northeast coast of Newfoundland there is also a much bigger than normal ice cover, for at least the last ten years or so.
Furthermore, Easter is relatively late this year, falling on April 20th. The combination of a late Easter - which is often the traditional start for the crab season, along with heavy ice which is not going to be easily cleared from harbors, means that there will be a slow start to the Canadian crab fishery this year.
The delay could shave as much as two or three weeks off the length of the crab season, if fishing does not get going in earnest until the first or second week of May.
The shortened season could lead to heavier amounts of crab landings, although in the Gulf there is expected to be a reduction in a number of areas, which may average around 18%.
In Newfoundland, crab quotas will remain basically stable, with small declines in areas expected, except in 3L, the largest producing area. In the Gulf, crab quotas will be down more significantly, with perhaps a 15% overall reduction when final numbers are announced.
The Canadian DFO announces quota numbers only at the time it is ready to issue licenses, generally just shortly before the season opens.
John Sackton, Editor And Publisher
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