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A retrospective look at the development and expansion of the southwestern gulf of st. lawrence snow crab chionoecetes opilio fishery

Chiasson, Y.J.; Hebert, M.; Moriyasu, M.; Bourgoin, A.; Noel, D.

Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 1847: I-IV, 1-23

1992


Accession: 006963602

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The evolution of the Southwestern Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab, Chionoecetes opilio, fishery was studied through a survey among New Brunswick [Canada] commercial fishermen in 1989. Since the start of the fishery, a constant increase in the size, power and hold capacity of the boats is noted. The results of the survey showed an important evolution of the navigation and communication equipment used on snow crab boats in the early 1980's. The use of Loran C, radars, VHF radios and lights contributed to increasing the fishing power of the fleet. The fishermen could therefore fish at night, stay at sea for longer periods and work at greater distances from home port. The survey also revealed an important evolution of the fishing effort in this fishery. The changes in the shapes and sizes of traps and its effect on the fishery is examined. An increase in the landings from 1978 (10462 t) to 1982 (31585 t) can be attributed to the expansion of the fishery and the more efficient harvesting of the resource rather than an increase in the stock biomass.

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