Snow crab fishery expected to start Wednesday

Eric McCarthy
Published on May 5, 2014

ALBERTON -- It is 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.

The snow crab fishery was tentatively scheduled to open on May 4 but, in a conference call late Friday, industry representatives from around the Gulf agreed to delay the opening until Wednesday, May 7 at 4 a.m.

The further delay is a result of ice still lingering around in the Caraquet and Shippagan area of New Brunswick, preventing crab boats there from getting out.

Commenting from his lobster boat Monday morning, Hutt acknowledged today’s weather would have kept boats off the crab grounds further out to sea today 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 for Wednesday.

Hutt estimated about 23 or 24 members of Prince Edward Island’s 28-member traditional snow crab fleet also hold lobster licenses. The delay in the opening of the crab season gives the holders of spring lobster licenses 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 todays choppy seas have not combined for a good start to that fishery.