Tag Archives: Snow crab

Scientists point to climate as likely cause for snow crab decline

Even as scientists are still trying to figure out why the Bering Sea snow crab stock crashed in 2021, federal managers are working on a plan to help rebuild it. Data from last year’s survey at this point seems to confirm that there was a massive decline in the number of young snow crab in the Eastern Bering Sea—something like 99% fewer female snow crab showed up in the survey from 2021. Jaime Goen, Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, told the council that the crab industry is reeling from the revenue loss both in the snow crab fishery and the complete closure of the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery this year. What hurt was the suddenness — a few years ago, the crab stocks were looking hopeful and like a good investment, and many businesspeople and crew members bought in with the hopes those investments would pay off, she said. “Now those same people are facing bankruptcy,” >click to read< 22:00

SEA-NL demands province allow inshore fleet to truck snow crab out of province

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) demands the provincial government allow owner-operators to truck snow crab out of province given some local processors have stopped buying. “If processors will not buy snow crab then fishermen who can find mainland buyers must be able to truck out their crab or the entire industry will shut down,” says Jason Sullivan, President of SEA-NL and a Bay Bulls fisherman. “There are no jobs left to protect.” At least two processing companies, Notre Dame Seafoods and Quinlan’s, reportedly stopped buying crab on Friday. >click to continue< 11:21

Snow crab producers could limit production to help international market

An excess of snow crab produced in Newfoundland and Labrador is leading to supply outpacing demand, leaving industry figures to question if it’s worth slowing production to allow the market to catch up. More than 60 per cent of the total quota has already been caught and processed, according to Derek Butler, executive director of the Association of Seafood Producers. Butler says the fast-paced production has caused the market for crab to stall, leaving the industry to wonder where it will go next. “It’s a situation where we continue to buy, produce and to build inventories without the required sales to support those inventories,” >click to read< 10:47

Snow crab producers compelled to respond to 2022 market challenges

The Association of Seafood Producers (ASP), representing the majority of Newfoundland and Labrador based snow crab producers, issued a media release today, saying the industry is compelled to respond to the 2022 market uncertainty. ASP says it has serious concerns that the snow crab market is not functioning in a normal manner, and that US and Japanese buyers have been reluctant to place orders for snow crab or have slowed their crab purchases week after week in the hopes of finding the bottom of the market. Newfoundland and Labrador have to date landed and produced over 60% of the crab, well ahead of previous years given this year’s quota increase. >click to read< 09:34

SEA-NL on increase in snow crab processing capacity

“More competition in the processing sector should mean more opportunity for inshore boats to land crab quotas faster, with less expense, and safer for all hands,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. The province’s Fish Processing Licensing Board today approved two of four applications for fish processing licenses — including a new primary processing license for groundfish, whelk, and snow crab (2.5 million/lbs) for St. Mary’s Bay Fisheries Ltd., and doubling the amount of crab Dandy Dan’s Fish Market of Argentia can purchase to two million pounds per year. >click to read< 11:29

SEA-NL supports province issuing new snow crab processing licenses

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador supports the issuance of new snow crab processing licenses as the quickest way to increase industry capacity and reduce pressure on the inshore fleet to fish in potentially unsafe conditions. “We see more processing licenses as the quickest way to take pressure off the inshore fleet,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s executive director. “More competition in the processing sector should mean more opportunity for inshore boats to land crab quotas faster, with less expense, and safer for all hands.” “More crab processing capacity will take pressure off the inshore fleet, and that’s the bottom line for SEA-NL,”  >click to read< 14:20

Snow crab prices plummet in Newfoundland

It wasn’t the news fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador wanted to hear. They’ll get less for their snow crab after today, as the result of a decision by the province’s fish price setting panel. After reviewing a request from the Association of Seafood Producers and arguments by the Fish Food and Allied Workers, the panel went with the processors’ pitch of $6.15 per pound. That’s down nearly 20 per cent from the $7.60 per pound price that was set for the start of the season on April 1. In Nova Scotia, fish harvesters also saw a drop in snow crab prices a couple of weeks ago. They are now getting $8.25 a pound for snow crab, according to Gordon Beaton, local president with the Maritime Fishermen’s Union.  >click to read<  11:06

Snow crab fishermen plead guilty for failing to accurately report catch weight

A number of snow crab fishers pleaded guilty in a P.E.I. court Thursday to violations of the Fisheries Act following a Department of Fisheries and Oceans investigation of landings at a Souris wharf in recent years. A total of 13 people are charged. The three fishermen in court in Georgetown Thursday pleaded guilty to charges of failing to accurately report the weight of their catches of snow crab in accordance with the Fisheries Act. Also pleading guilty was a woman who worked on the dock monitoring crab catches. Court heard the fishers unloaded the catches in Souris between June of 2019 and May of 2020 at Souris wharf. >click to read< 19:12

Alaska snow crab fishery saw steep decline. A reporter went ‘Into the ice’ to see it for himself.

CG: Well, at the heart of this reporting that you did were snow crab numbers. So what’s going on with those snow crab numbers? And how steep of a decline have they seen? HB: Well, it’s really pretty stunning for some of the biologists who do the surveys because, of course, in 2020, because of COVID, they were unable to do the summer surveys of crab population. So they did them in 2019. And when they came back in the summer of 2021, they found these staggering drops in abundance of different populations of the snow crab. The juvenile females were down by more than 99%. The juvenile males were also way down. And they’re also less of the mature males and the mature females. So this really triggered a major reassessment of what would be a safe level of harvest for this 2022 season. And they ended up still having a harvest, but reducing it by nearly 90%, >click to read< 16:37

Into the ice: A crab boat’s quest for snow crab in a Bering Sea upended by climate change

Aboard the F/V Pinnacle in the Bering Sea. Through the wheelhouse window, Capt. Mark Casto spotted a white line on the horizon. The edge of an ice floe was illuminated by bow lights piercing the morning darkness of the Bering Sea. He throttled back the engines. Soon, the Seattle-based crab boat began to nose through closely packed pancake-like pieces and bigger craggy chunks, some the size of boulders, which bobbed about in the currents and clanged against the hull. Casto grabbed a microphone to relay a change in plans to the deck crew. Pull the pots up and stack them aboard. They would search for crab somewhere else. “Where the hell did that ice floe come from? … We’re retreating. It’s a hard word to say,” Casto declared. photos, video, charts and grafs, >click to read< 17:50

Snow crab prices skyrocket

The price of snow crab jumped last year. It explodes again this year. The price of the first arrivals of the season, which opened on Friday, exceeds $38 a pound for cooked crab in Montreal. Last year it was around $26. Enough for crab legs to stop being part of the springtime ritual for many Quebecers. At the Jean-Talon market, the price of live snow crab is $21.50 per pound. That of cooked crab is $38.50 per pound. This explosion can be explained by several factors: galloping inflation, which increases costs, particularly transport costs, the imposition of quotas on Alaskan crabs by the American government,,, There are practically no Alaskan crabs in the markets. The Russians, with what is happening in Ukraine, will not sell their crabs to the United States. >click to read< 08:35

Higher Snow Crab Quota in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2022

DFO’s management practices in recent years, supported by evidence-based science advice, favourable ocean conditions, and the stewardship of local harvesters, have rejuvenated the snow crab stock in most areas throughout the Province. Improvements in the stock are likely to continue in the short-term and point to continued growth and a sustainable fishery into the future. For these reasons, Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, is pleased to announce that the 2022 total allowable catch for the Snow crab fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador will be 50,470 tonnes. This represents a 32 per cent increase from 2021. >click to read< 12:05

Snow crab quota jumps 30% for 2022 season – For fishermen like Aaron Ferriera, the quota increase is welcome news. “For a lot of fishermen, crab season is the only thing they fish all year-round, especially now with the price of everything skyrocketing. It’s a good thing for sure,” he said. And the cost of doing business is going up. >click to read< 17:13

Demand is going to be strong! Remarkable snow crab season ahead for Gulf of St. Lawrence crabbers

The snow crab industry in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence can expect an excellent 2022 fishing season, both in terms of catches and prices. The preliminary report of the most recent scientific assessment of the stock, carried out by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, shows a growth of 4% in the commercial biomass made up of males of 95 mm and over, compared to last year. It is now valued at close to 81,000 metric tons (MT). “We consider that we have a good breeding stock and that the stock is healthy,” >click to read< 09:14

Japan: Large male snow crab fetches 5 mil. yen

A large male snow crab has fetched 5 million yen, or about $44,000 dollars, at the season’s first auction in central Japan. The auction of the winter delicacy was held on Saturday evening at a market at Kanazawa port on the Sea of Japan coast. Ishikawa Prefecture’s fisheries cooperative has begun to select large male snow crabs that are optimal in size and shape and sell them under a new brand name. Of 58 tons of Saturday’s catch, only one crab met all six criteria, including 1.5 kilograms in weight and 14.5 centimeters in shell width. Video, >click to read< 10:54

Valuable crab populations are in a ‘very scary’ decline in warming Bering Sea

The forecast for the 2022 winter snow crab season is bleak. At best, it is expected to be considerably less than 12 million pounds. That would be down from a 2021 harvest of 45 million pounds,,, The iconic Bering Sea red king crab, which can grow up to 24 pounds with a leg-span up to 5 feet, also are in trouble. In a big blow to the commercial crabbers, many of whom are based in Washington, the October harvest for these crab has been canceled, something that has only happened three times before. Overall conservation measures are expected to wipe out most of the value of the annual Bering Sea crab harvest, worth more than $160 million during the past year, according to Jamie Goen, executive director of the Seattle-based Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers.  >click to read< 13:54

For the first time in over 25 years, Bristol Bay red king crab harvest halted for 2021-22

The announcement came as a surprise to many in the crab industry, even those aware of the downward trend in female red king crab since 2012, and a downward trend in Bering Sea snow crab abundance. According to a NOAA survey report the total mature male biomass of commercial crab stocks in the eastern Bering Sea in 2021 was the lowest on record and 2021 biomass estimates continued a declining trend that began in 2015. The decline in crab biomass and abundance was most notable for snow crab, with abundance estimates for mature male and female snow crab down 55% and 70% respectively, the report said.,, In April, PEER filed a complaint on behalf of former NOAA Fisheries biologist Braxton Dew, charging the federal fisheries agency with paving the way for collapse,,, NOAA Fisheries had attributed the sudden loss of millions of crabs to “a drastic increase in natural mortality” and “massive die-offs,” claims for which no evidence has materialized, >click to read< 14:24

Snow crab market heats up with Record-Breaking Prices in northern Cape Breton

Soaring demand from the U.S. has resulted in snow crab coming in at over $8 a pound. The price was closer to $4.25 this time last year. Dave Donovan fishes out of Neils Harbour on board the Krista & Megan. “Eight dollars is a big bonus,” he said. “I guess it’s the best price I’ve ever seen since I’ve been in the fishery.” Donovan said the hot market this year is welcomed by all on the wharf, and in the processing plant. The high price is a surprise to Osborne Burke, “We didn’t anticipate this,” >click to read< 14:14

FFAW submits a request for Snow Crab price review in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Fish Food and Allied Workers has submitted a request for reconsideration of snow crab prices to the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel for Newfoundland and Labrador,,, FFAW said the panel has 96 hours to either establish a new price or maintain the current price of $5.73 per pound. If the panel decides to set a new price, it would come into effect Sunday. April 25. Crab fishers in Newfoundland and Labrador have questioned the apparent gap in snow crab prices from province-to-province in Atlantic Canada.  They’ve been sharing information that suggests snow crab fishers in the Maritime provinces have been getting $8 to $9 per pound for crab. >click to read< 18:42

N.L. fishers crabby over Snow Crab prices

Since last week they’ve taken to social media to rant about an apparently-large gap in prices between Nova Scotia and N.L. and chew out the Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union for failing to negotiate a better price. According to a post by Ryan Cleary on April 9, Nova Scotia buyers were offering $8 a pound for crab, while N.L. harvesters are fishing crab for $5.73 a pound. That’s the price set by the Fish Price Setting Panel, who chose the price suggested by the FFAW.  “What’s clear is the price setting panel does not work and it’s costing Newfoundland fishermen millions,” stated Cleary, who led the former FISH-NL group in an attempt by some inshore harvesters to break away from the FFAW. >click to read< 07:59

Crab fishing season off to early start on the Acadian Peninsula

New Brunswick’s snow crab fishers have begun their season. At the wharf in Shippagan, boats prepared to take to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence late Friday despite frigid temperatures and the presence of ice in some places. The season officially began at midnight. For Capt. Renald Guignard, it marked the continuation of a family tradition. The Acadian Peninsula received help from icebreakers from the Canadian Coast Guard and contracted boats to allow access to the waters before endangered North Atlantic right whales arrive. >click to read< 17:30

2021 Newfoundland and Labrador Snow crab quotas going up by 29 per cent

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that the 2021 Snow crab fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador will have a total allowable catch (TAC) of 38,186 tonnes.“Our government understands how important the Snow crab fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador is to the provincial economy, and to rural and coastal communities. After taking steps in recent years to protect the health of the Snow crab population and ensure long term sustainability of the stock, I am very pleased to share that, for 2021, the total allowable catch will be increasing across nearly the whole province. >click to read< 10:22

Icebreakers are clearing the way for early Snow crab season with less risk for right whales

New Brunswick’s lucrative snow crab industry is just weeks away from a head start to the season, could result in higher revenue and less risk for North Atlantic right whales. Icebreakers from the Canadian Coast Guard and contracted boats began clearing the waters near Shippagan and Caraquet on the Acadian Peninsula over the weekend. Gilles Thériault, who lives in Tracadie, said fishermen are thankful for the icebreakers. “The quicker we catch our quota, the less danger there is of whales being trapped into ropes,” he said. “We hope that the vast majority of the quota will be caught before the whales arrive.” >click to read< 15:43

Good news for Newfoundland fishermen, plant workers, and processors in the snow crab fishery

The snow crab fishery should continue to be an economic bright spot for the Newfoundland and Labrador economy in 2021. The latest report from Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) science shows modest improvements in snow crab biomass in several fishing zones around the province. The good news from science is that the snow crab stocks appear to be recovering in some areas.,, Julia Pantin, DFO’s lead biologist for snow crab in the Newfoundland region, said the population of crabs becoming available to the fishery is expected to increase over the new two to four years in most areas. >click to read< 11:30

The Biggest Hauls Ever Made on Deadliest Catch

When most people think of fishing, they immediately envision a serene and relaxing activity,,, However, that image changed for a lot of people in 2005 when Deadliest Catch debuted on the Discovery Channel. The series follows crab fisherman as they venture out into the ocean in search of Alaskan king crab and snow crab. The fishermen often have to brave harsh weather and intense storms and the job can quite literally turn deadly in just a matter of seconds. At the same time, however, the reward that comes with huge hauls makes many people feel like the job is worth it. So, just how big can these hauls be? >click to read<13:50

Nova Scotia Supreme Court approves sale of Clearwater Seafoods

It is the final step in a deal described as “the single largest investment in the seafood industry by any Indigenous group in Canada.” On Thursday, shareholders voted in favour of the sale to a partnership of Premium Brands of British Columbia and a coalition of Mi’kmaw First Nations led by the Membertou band of Nova Scotia and the Miawpukek in Newfoundland and Labrador. Court approval for the mega deal took 20 minutes. >click to read< 18:40

FFAW, processors remain at odds on opening Newfoundland and Labrador crab season

It remains to be seen whether harvesters in the province will eventually start fishing for crab and offloading it at plants for processing. According to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor), two vessels from outside the province were turned away in Port Aux Basques and denied the opportunity to offload crab as of Monday morning, and three transport trucks carrying crab harvested outside the province were being blocked from making deliveries to fish plants, two in South Brook and one at Goobies. “The fishery was postponed three times on health and safety issues,” Pretty said. “During that time, the bargaining for the price of crab should have progressed, but instead of progressing,,, >click to read< 19:46

Coronavirus: FFAW calling for delay of crab fishery, NL-FHSA released 12 control measures to prevent spread of virus on fishing vessels

The FFAW’s crab committee chairs met Sunday and voted to delay the fishery opening again. President Keith Sullivan said the recommendation will be sent to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, who holds the authority to open or delay the fishery. “We have to be able to ensure that we have a safe fishery for everyone involved,” Still, Sullivan said harvesters aren’t ready to call off the 2020 crab fishing season, which employs thousands and is worth more than $300 million, including export value and spin offs.,, Meanwhile, The Fish Harvesting Safety Association (NL-FHSA) has released 12 control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on fishing vessels, if fisheries open later this spring. >click to read< 18:14

Coronavirus: Concerns raised about pending Cheticamp snow crab fishery

Setting day for the lucrative fishery is Friday and it runs until June 30. “Residents of Cheticamp are really scared and upset about the coming of the crab fishery,” Cheticamp resident Yolande LeVert said.  “I’m not sure what’s happening here, I don’t know why there is not more communication with the residents of Cheticamp. Are there rules on the wharf when the fishermen come in for the ones that unload the boats?” ,, LeVert noted the snow crab fishery will see more than 30 boats arrive from around the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, mainly from New Brunswick and Quebec, for the Zone 12F snow crab fishery. That equates to about 120 fishermen, in addition to dozens of plant workers, many of whom arrive from Mexico. >click to read< 08:35

Feds delay Snow Crab season in Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said the decision on Thursday to pause the season will let everyone involved in the fishery to put necessary health and safety measures in place. Seafood processors in the Maritimes had called on Ottawa to delay the crab and lobster season, warning that moving ahead with fishing risks workers’ health — and the bottom line — amid the COVID-19 pandemic.,, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said Thursday the province hopes Fisheries and Oceans Canada will delay the spring season for a few weeks, with the possibility of federal compensation. The Maritime Fishermen’s Union, which represents 1,200 harvesters in New Brunswick, said Friday they support a delay of the lobster season until May 15 >click to read< 16:28

‘Deadliest Catch’ Captains Discuss What Happened In F/V Destination Tragedy – Sig encourages re-evaluation

It’s no secret that crab fishing is the most dangerous job in the world, and that is why Deadliest Catch fans hero worship the captains and crew that star on this adventurous reality series. On February 11, 2017 the Destination sunk. What happened to this crab fishing vessel and what have the Deadliest Catch captains said about the boat and crew?,,, Although the Destination was not part of the Discovery show, the captain and crew were friends with the captains of the reality show. >click to read< 10:50

Emotional ‘Deadliest Catch’ captain Sig Hansen still haunted by friend lost at sea – Hansen is encouraging all the boats in the community to re-evaluate their boats so that tragedies like the F/V Destination don’t happen again. And while the sinking is a painful memory for Sig, he believes the awareness it has garnered will save lives for years to come. >click to read<