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Basic Information
What is a snow crab?
Suggested Reading
Boat P1
Boat P2
Boat P3
Wheel House
The Gear
Getting Ready
Loading the Boat
Setting Day
Setting Day P2
Setting Day P3
Setting Day P4
Setting Day P5
Hauling Traps
Hauling Videos
Trap leaves water
Emptying Trap
Emptying Trap P2
Sorting the Crab
Sorting P2
Iceing the crab
Other Boats
Off Loading
Off Loading P2
Last Day
Cape Breton Scenery
The End

Area 19 Snow Crab Fishing Basic Information

To take part in the Area 19 Snow Crab fishery a licence is required. There is a fixed number of licenses and each licence has between 3 and 26 shares attached to it. Each share entitles the licence holder to fish that number of traps per season and a piece of the quota proportional to his percentage of total shares. A fisherman can buy or sell his shares, but only up to a total of 26 or as low as 3 shares. The most common number of shares is 18.

The quota has been between a range of 5,500 lbs/share and 2,000 lbs/share. This gives the average fisherman (18 share fisherman) a quota between 35,000 and 100,000 pounds. The average of the past few years would be approximately 70,000 lbs. (~50,000 lbs in 2006).

The season starts for everyone at a set date (typically between July 8th and 15th). All fisherman set their maximum number of traps, and return the following day to collect their catch. The traps are baited and set back for the next day. Once the traps are set they stay at sea until the quota is caught.

The fishery is only for male snow crab with a shell width of over 3.75 inches. All males smaller than 4 inches, females or soft shelled crab are returned to the sea. A soft shelled crab is one that is in the process of growing a new larger shell. They are very fragile and are avoided if possible. Later sections will show how soft shell crab can be avoided.

The fisherman must stay within a given area. Below is the boundary map from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Area 19 zone

  Latitude - North Longitude - West
1. 46° 25' 40'' 61° 07' 00''
2. 46° 37' 30'' 61° 30' 15''
3. 47° 30' 00'' 60° 43' 20''
4. 47° 16' 25'' 60° 17' 40''
5. 47° 02' 15'' 60° 24' 55''
An Creation © 2007