Maritime fishermen are reacting strongly to recent news that the amount of snow crab they’re eligible to fish has been drastically reduced due to major declines in the flavourful crustacean’s population.
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has ordered fisherman cut catches by 63 per cent. This means fisherman can only haul in 7,700 tonnes from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a significant drop from the 20,400 tonnes pulled in 2007.
“It’s going to affect everyone,” Bernard Morin, treasurer of the Shippagan Chamber of Commerce, told the CBC. “The Shippagan area, and the peninsula in itself, is based on fisheries, it’s a big part of the economy. So any news like this — that represents two-thirds of your revenue that’s going to be cut, that’s going to affect everyone.”
The 700 New Brunswick fishermen who harvest snow crab are fearful of lost hours and layoffs. In fact, a report from New Brunswick’s Telegraph-Journal indicates that some fishery owners worry hours may be cut from the usual 200 per season to 85.
According to the Telegraph, concerned members of traditional crabber’s associations are set to hold a news conference soon to address worries and explain their position on the controversial matter.