The season is winding down for Prince Edward Island’s traditional snow crab fleet.
Carter Hutt, president of the P.E.I. Snow Crab Fishermen’s Association, said seven or eight of the Island boats had filled their quota by last weekend while most of the remaining boats were expecting one or two more trips would finish them off.
“There’s not too much (quota) left, for sure,” he said.
The quota was up nearly 28 per cent from last year.
“It was good fishing; really good catch rates. Everything went good.” Hutt said.
Hutt is pleased with this year’s shore price of $5.50 per pound, which is trending 25 cents a pound ahead of last year. The final price after rebates last year, he said, did work out to around $5.50 a pound.
The association president didn’t think any of the Island’s 27-boat traditional fleet was directly impacted by grid closures put in place for the protection of North Atlantic right whales, but he said they were noticing more fishing activity last week because of mid-shore vessels having to shift fishing areas. The closed zone was further enlarged this week.
The Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association also has an allocation that it auctioned off to participating buyers in April. That quota is still being fished.
Proceeds from the sale of that quota, after expenses such as dockside monitoring are deducted, will be divided up among all eligible P.E.I. fishermen.
That’s the same way the association’s quota was fished last year. Prior to that, fishermen who were eligible for a share were entered into an annual draw until all fishermen were awarded a share once.