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Mother Nature's yearly concoctions: Winds stymie crab fishery on east coast of province


SOUTHPORT, N.L. — Since the arrival of Europeans on the shores of Newfoundland, harvesting of the fisheries has been heavily controlled by one major factor, Mother Nature. Winds, tides, and ice conditions determines when and where harvesting of the resource occurs. Modern day fisheries are no exception.

Last year harvesting of snow crab was hampered by the arrival of ice on the northeast coast. For several weeks the ice packed into the various crooks and crannies that dot our bays and inlets keeping  crab boats secured to the wharves. Harvesting was delayed as the ice drifted to and from the coastline. The ice finally disappeared and the pursuit of the crab began with a number of enterprises being pushed to the limit to catch their quota before the arrival of capelin on our shores.

The 2018 season appeared to much more promising with the arrival of an early season, the absence of the ice along shorelines of Bonavista, Trinity and Conception Bays and a very competitive price for crab. Crab pots were placed on decks of their boats in early March. Now the waiting game began for the announcement of the crab season. Things were looking-up.

Everyone forgot, however, that Mother Nature can always throw a spin into one's pursuits. This year's concoction — wind. It seems like every day of the week since the start of the crab fishery, winds have been howling. Everyday discussions at the wharf and grocery stores seems to start with, "I heard that it is suppose’ to blow for the rest of the week."

Crews with smaller quotas are reporting that they have managed to finally get their crab. However, for the boats that are located in the mid-shore and outer areas, weeks are slipping by with very little harvesting.

Fishers are taking it all in stride and hope that Mother Nature calms down soon and they can complete this year season with success. Attention is now turned to intensive listening and reading of various media sources hoping to hear about this upcoming capelin and cod fishery announcements.

This time, Mother Nature may co-operate.

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