The Norwegian Fisheries Minister has announced the extension ot the snow crab season by nine days
The Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Seafood has extended the snow crab season until 10 July, giving the fishermen nine extra days before the fishing closes, similar to last year when the season was also extended.
“There is currently good snow crab fishing on the Norwegian continental shelf in the Barents Sea. We want to make arrangements for the fleet to make full use of this fishery before it is stopped,” says fisheries and seafood ministers Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen in a press release.
In order to protect the snow crab when it shells, fishing is closed for a period of time. This year, the fishery was originally closed on 1 July. The closure is now postponed until 10 July. Snow crab fishing will then be closed until 30 September.
The change comes after a written consultation on fishing for snow crab.
Rotated every three weeks
At the same time as the season is expanding, the vessels must focus on fishing with fewer pots. Previously, each boat could have 12,000 pots. The number has now been reduced to 9,000.
“We have a requirement that the pots be rotated every three weeks. This prevents pots from being stored unnecessarily in the sea and reduces the risk of ghost fishing. It is important that the operators are able to transport the gear to land, preferably on one trip. According to the industry, 9,000 pots themselves are a number that are manageable,” says the Minister of Fisheries and Seafood.
Requirement to mark snow crab pots with markers is lifted. The markers can move with ice and move so that they are difficult to find. In a snow crab leader, each end of a crab leader should be marked.
Reduces the minimum size targeted
The minimum snow crab target is reduced from 100mm shield width to 95mm shield width. The intention is to protect the sexually mature males and to ensure the reproductive potential of the crab, while at the same time safeguarding the practical pursuit of fishing.
The new rules on reduced minimum targets, abolition of requirements for the use of markers and the tightening of the gear limit apply from 10 July 2020.