Crab boats tied up at the wharf in Northport are loaded with gear and ready to go when the season opens Sunday at 4 a.m.
ALBERTON — It will likely be at least Sunday before crab boats in Prince Edward Island and around the Gulf get out to set their gear, the president of the P.E.I. Snow Crab Association suggested Monday.
Carter Hutt said fisherman representatives from around the gulf will participate in another conference call with Department of Fisheries and Oceans officials on Wednesday to further evaluate ice and weather conditions.
Hutt said fishermen need at least 72 hours' notice before the season can get underway, but he added participants from the latest conference call are already considering
May 4 as the earliest date the season will get underway.
While Hutt is confident all 28 members of the Island snow crab fleet are ready and able to go, he indicated ice in the Shippagan and Caraquet areas of New Brunswick is proving problematic for crab boats there.
The next conference call will evaluate changes in ice conditions.
“Everybody goes or nobody goes,” Hutt said in stressing the fleet will head out when everyone is able to go.
The delay in getting the season started has had one particular advantage.
Hutt said crab boats have been able to pick up some fresh herring to bait their gear.
While fishermen have seen their quota trimmed by 12.5 per cent this year, Hutt said he is hopeful that will be offset by improved prices.