DFO announces overall crab quota cut of 17 percent for 2018 in NL
Reductions for some fishing zones; increases in others
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has announced the crab quotas for the Newfoundland and Labrador region for 2018.
In a press release issued just after 6 p.m. NL time tonight, April 4, the department said the Total Allowable Catch (TAC)for the NL region is 28,975. That’s an overall quota decrease of 17 percent from 2017.
Highlights of the management plan for this season are: a two percent increase in 3K, a 24 percent decrease in 3LNO (30 percent in the areas outside the 200 mile limit, and 24 percent in areas inside the 200 mile limit), a 19 percent increase in the 3Ps quota, and a 50 percent reduction in 4R3Pn. Quotas in 2J south will remain at 2017 levels.
A decision on 2HJ north quotas will finalized at a later date.
The announcement on FFAW has come out against the price of snow crab set this year.
quotas comes just a couple of days after the Fish Price Setting Panel for Newfoundland and Labrador set the price for crab at $4.55 per pound, drawing criticism from fishers and
the Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union who contend the market can support prices closer to $5 per pound for harvesters.
“Today the Fish Price Setting Panel announced their decision to side with the proposal put forward by the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) to set this year’s Snow Crab Price at $4.55,” read a release issued April 4. “The panel’s decision is very disappointing to fish harvesters as it ignores the fact that the market is significantly better than in 2017 and is based upon an ASP submission that lacked evidence, fact and argument.”
The group argued that in the past higher prices have helped offset falling quotas, quotas which are expected to drop again this year for many seafood products, including snow crab. FFAW says it has presented evidence that the market can support a price of $4.80 per pound and above for harvesters.
“This decision is frustrating for fish harvesters who will see another reduction in their quota for 2018,” said Keith Sullivan, president of FFAW, in the release. “Compounding this frustration is the fact that harvesters in the Maritimes are receiving greater than $5 per pound for snow crab.”