ALBERTON — It was not a nice day to be on the water, the president of the P.E.I. Snow Crab Association, Carter Hutt acknowledged Monday morning as he splashed around pulling lobster traps.
Ordinarily, he would have been fishing crab, but the snow crab fishery, which was tentatively scheduled to open on May 4, got delayed again during a conference call with industry representatives Friday afternoon. Hutt said the season is now scheduled to start at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7.
The further delay was a result of ice still lingering around in the Caraquet and Shippagan areas of New Brunswick, preventing crab boats there from getting out.
Commenting from his lobster boat Monday morning, Hutt acknowledged the weather would have kept boats off the crab grounds further out to sea Monday anyway.
He expressed confidence there will be no further delay beyond Wednesday as reports are indicating the sea ice is deteriorating quickly and only light winds are in the forecast.
Hutt estimated about 23 or 24 members of Prince Edward Island’s 28-member traditional snow crab fleet also hold lobster licences. The delay in the opening of the crab season gives the holders of spring lobster licences a chance to work the lobster fishery for a few days without having to shift back and forth between lobster and crab.
He admits, though, the cold temperature and Monday’s choppy seas have not combined for a good start.