Summary

IDENTIFICATION

Last updated on 9 March 2016

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Chionoecetes opilio

SPECIES NAME(S)

Queen crab, snow crab

COMMON NAMES

crabe des neiges (French)

Puebla et al. (2008) found homogeneity on the genetic structure of queen crab along the west coast of Greenland and within Atlantic Canada from southern Labrador to Nova Scotia. Four assessment units are delimited by DFO-Canada and managed separately: Estuary and N Gulf of St Lawrence (areas 13 to 17, 12A, 12B, 12C and 16A), Newfoundland and Labrador (offshore and inshore areas of Divisions 2HJ3KLNOP4R), Nova Scotia (North and South Nova Scotia 4V,W,X) and S Gulf of St Lawrence (Areas 12, 19, 12E and 12F). Within W Greenland there are 6 management units: Upernavik, Uummannaq-Disko Bay, Sisimiut, Maniitsoq-Kangaamiut, Nuuk-Paamiut and Narsaq-Qaqortoq (Burmeister, 2010).


ANALYSIS

No related analysis

SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6 - ≥ 8

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6 - 10

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6 - 9.9

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 6 - 10

Future Health:

≥ 6 - ≥ 8


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Gulf of St Lawrence snow crab trap:

    MSC Certified

  • Newfoundland & Labrador snow crab:

    MSC Certified

  • Scotian shelf snow crab trap:

    MSC Certified

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Estuary and N Gulf of St Lawrence Canada Estuary and N Gulf of St Lawrence Canada Pots
Traps
Newfoundland and Labrador Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Canada Pots
Nova Scotia Canada Nova Scotia Canada Pots
S Gulf of St. Lawrence Canada S Gulf of St. Lawrence Canada Pots
Traps
W Greenland Greenland Maniitsoq-Kangaamiut Greenland Stow nets
Greenland Narsaq-Qaqortoq Greenland Stow nets
Greenland Nuuk-Paamiut Greenland Stow nets
Greenland Sisimiut Greenland Stow nets
Greenland Upernavik Greenland Stow nets
Greenland Uummannaq-Disko Bay Greenland Stow nets

Analysis

OVERVIEW

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 28 June 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Please provide links to publicly available information on this fishery via the “Feedback” tab.
2. To apply to develop content for this profile register and log in and follow the links to “contribute to” / “edit this profile”. If you need more information, please use the “Contact Us” button above, and reference the full name of this profile.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. This profile is not currently at the top of our priority list for development, and we can’t at this time provide an accurate prediction of when it will be developed. To speed up an evaluation of the sustainability status of non-prioritized fisheries we have initiated a program whereby industry can directly contract SFP-approved analysts to develop a FishSource profile on a fishery. More information on this External Contributor Program is available at http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-information.

Last updated on 24 October 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Work actively to address and close out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery in the agreed timeframe.
2. Report achievements publicly to share progress with buyers.

1. Continue to use season, male-only restrictions, trip limits, quota, trap limits, and other measures to ensure overages do not occur.
2. Suggest studies be conducted on the mixing of adults between areas as currently assessed.
3. Managers are encouraged to comply with MSC conditions.
4. Catchers are encouraged to continue using pots as the primary method of harvest.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met.
2. Express your support to help meet conditions that may be at a government/regulatory level (where applicable). Please contact the relevant SFP Sector Group or Supplier Roundtable for more specific information.

Last updated on 3 January 2017

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators
  • Monitor fishery and management system for any changes that could jeopardize MSC re-certification.
Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Support the sustainability achievements of this fishery by sourcing this product, and ensure that the producers are aware that sustainability certification played a role in your decision to source this product.

Last updated on 3 January 2017

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators
  • Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs.
  • Communicate to fishery managers that there are sustainability issues in this fishery that may be affecting the sale of products, and request that they comprehensively evaluate and address such issues.
Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Encourage your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project. For advice on starting a FIP see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs.
  • Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supply chain roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 1 December 2014

An analytic stock assessment is not available for this fishery.Instead survey estimates of abundance are extrapolated to the stock area by stage and sex. Error is Incorporated within this estimate (DFO, 2014a). Additionally Catch per Unit effort information from the fishery is also used as a secondary check on abundance.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 1 December 2014

Scientific advice is Incorporated in a number of avenues in the management of this stock.Advice is used to set and project potential reference points, effects of management measure on stock and catch, as well as advice on overall quota and stock status (Garforth, et al. 2012). For quota, advice incorporatee estimates of uncertainty, both qualitative and quantitative. However, Analytic approaches to stock status and estimates of reference points is not currently possible with this stock at present (DFO, 2014 a & b).

REFERENCE POINTS

Last updated on 1 December 2014

Managers have set a precautionary B at MSY was based on 50% of the maximum commercial biomass over a productive period. The Upper limit of the stock was then taken as 80% of that B MSY. The Limit reference point was the survey biomass from which the stock was able to quickly recover. While theses are not based on an analytic approach they serve as historically based proxies which have been shown in other fisheries to be appropriate (DFO, 2014b). However conditions can and do change with regards to recruitment or environmental facts. As such it is unknown if these reference points are going to be appropriate as conditions in this area change.

The F at MSY is defined as the average survey based exploitation rate for the same productive period used to define B MSY. It should be noted that an exploitation rate at low biomass is not specified by the management plan, but managers have control rules in place should the fishery start to approach it’s biomass limit reference point.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 1 December 2014

Currently the stock is well above both it’s limit and precautionary biomass reference points. Recruitment is moderate and landing have been stable.However effort has declined in this fishery as the number of licences and traps has been reduced by managers (DFO, 2014a)

TRENDS

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGERS' DECISIONS

Last updated on 1 December 2014

Managers have set precautionary quotas in line with scientific advice. Additionally managers use a male only fishery, closures to protect soft shell crabs in the process of mating, limits on number of traps and their design, as well as the number of licences to control fishing effort (Garforth, et al, 2012).

RECOVERY PLANS

Last updated on 1 December 2014

Because the fishery is not near it’s reference points, a rebuilding plan is not necessary at this time (DFO, 2014a and Garforth, et al, 2012)

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 1 December 2014

Harvesters appear to comply with know rules and management decisions. Enforcement is fairly comprehensive, including dockside and at sea.Further vessels are required to have satellite based vessel monitoring systems in operation and to complete trip level log books (Garforth, et al, 2012).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

ETP SPECIES

Last updated on 2 December 2014

Potential impacts of this gear include Spotted Wolfish, leather back turtles, and endangered whales.at-sea observation coupled with areal surveys have determined that there are no incidents of interactions with any of these species (Garforth, et al. 2012).

OTHER TARGET AND BYCATCH SPECIES

Last updated on 2 December 2014

There are no other retained species in this fishery. Bycatch of other species is also very low. For the minimal bycatch that does occur mortality on the released component released is thought to be low (Garforth, et al. 2012). There is both a mandatory requirement to report bycatch species as well as targeted enforcement at-sea to document any incidences.

HABITAT

Last updated on 2 December 2014

Overall this passive gear type is set in areas that have minimal impact on bottom structure. As such there is little habitat impact given the small scale of the fishery and the fact that it is not set in areas with high habitat concerns (Garforth, et al. 2012).

MARINE RESERVES

Last updated on 2 December 2014

At least three Marine Protected Areas exist on Canada’s Scotian shelf to protect octocoral ecosystems: the Gully marine Protected Area, the Northeast Channel Conservation Area, and Stone Fence Fisheries Closure. Within the area of interest Bassin Head is an area which is fully protected as an MPA. the Shediac Valley area is a candidate area which maybe included as an MPA in the near future but that already has some protections in place (Garforth, et al 2012)

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

STOCK HEALTH:

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE RISK

High Medium Low
DATA NOTES

Last updated on

Notes

No formal assessment or reference points. 
TACs are set by area; monitoring of size, CPUE and surveys used to adjust from year to year

Last updated on

Notes: Stocks are assessed by units individually and further broken as inshore and off shore for some (see DFO, 2011). Validity of these as separate stocks is uncertain.

No analytical assessment exists. Hard quotas, trip limits, and trap limits in place.  Assessment conducted using catch over survey biomass in most cases, or swept area biomass calculations for some units.

Landings information not publicly available in raw form, but see DFO 2011 Figure 2.

Last updated on 1 December 2014

Fishery does not have an analytically model or analytically determined reference points associated with it. Instead managers use catch over survey estimates of biomass. Reference points are determined by historical fishery performance. Biomass as Adult Male commercially exploitable as 100 t, F is as exploitation rate of that Biomass.

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

Gulf of St Lawrence snow crab trap

STATUS

MSC Certified on 25 September 2012

SCORES

This fishery was MSC Certified in September of 2012.

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species 96.9
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 96.7
Principle 3 – Management System 81.4

Certification Type: Gold

Sources

References

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