Five aircraft conducting aerial surveillance have spotted up to 27 right whales this season, which has resulted in several fishing ground closures to prevent entanglements in fishing gear. Despite these closures totalling nearly 10,000 square kilometres, the snow crab season is believed to be comparable to that of 2016, reported Fisheries and Oceans Canada in a media advisory. To date, 13,475 tonnes of snow crab have been landed, compared to 13,684 tonnes in 2016, a year in which there were no closures. The value of landings is purportedly $148 million, compared to $112 million at the same point in the 2016 season. Approximately 60% of the 2018 quota has been harvested, while at this time in 2016, 68% of the quota had been landed.
The year 2017 can not be used for comparison purposes, since snow crab quotas had been exceptionally increased that year due to greater biomass.
Regarding vessel speed reductions, at the present time, dynamic navigation sectors have not been subject to such measures due to the absence of right whale sightings in these areas.