Data Available

Several Sources available.



Modeling work in progress.


Subset of Literature

A curated list of literature.


Over View of Project

The BC Area A Dungeness crab fishery is a crustacean fishery managed under a size, sex and season regime. Size, sex and season is a management approach that has proven successful in meeting fisheries objectives related to conservation and economic returns. It does not require the determination of stock size or a total allowable catch. The size and sex aspects, which prevent the retention of all females and only males that are reproductively mature over \(6 \frac{1}{2}\) inches across the carapace, are kept, in order to maintain a breeding stock. The season aspect is intended to prevent the interception of soft-shell crab. Soft-shell crabs are avoided for financial reasons – they yield less meat relative to their total body weight compared to hard-shell crab (20% versus 25%), have poor quality meat (e.g., watery, mushy), and have higher mortality post-capture. As such, soft-shell crab are unsuitable for the live market that the fishery currently supplies and the sale of soft-shell crab from a fishery can negatively impact on markets. The department has put in a condition of license in recent years making it illegal for fishermen to bring in soft shell crab. A conservation concern related to soft-shell crab mortality has also been raised, although the impact is disputed. For Area A crab, the prevailing theory backed up by the fishermen’s observation and the data from the soft shell survey, for many years has been that there were two molt periods – a main spring molt and a lesser winter molt. The obvious triggers surrounding the spring molt have been missing for the last three years except in Mcyntire Bay in 2014. Due to adverse weather conditions in the Hecate Strait during the winter months, minimal crab fishing occurs in this period and no soft-shell closure has been enacted for the winter molt. For the spring molt, a soft-shell survey has been in place since 1998, with sampling of shell condition to detect the impending molt and trigger closure of the fishery.