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Snow crab momentum builds leading into Boston seafood show, imports into U.S. up almost 75%

Washington-based fisheries consultant Les Hodges says momentum is returning to the snow crab market leading into Seafood Expo North America in Boston on March 12-14 — with imports of Canadian product into the U.S. up 74% this past January over December 2022, and up a whopping 600% over January 2022.

April 4th, 2022, Petty Harbour. Fishing boats geared up for start of snow crab season.

“It appears that momentum that was lost during last year is returning,” Hodges wrote in his blogpost.

Hodges also noted there was a "substantial carryover" of 2022 snow crab into 2023.

"Prices have decreased over the past two months and supermarkets have increased their purchases with many in the last few weeks featuring snow crab at $9.99/lb ($13.79 Cdn). Urner Barry Retail pricing.

Reports of increased crab imports into the U.S. are good news given as recently as last month local processors claimed to have "at least" $100 million of 2022 crab left in inventory, here and abroad.

Here's to the snow crab price rising with demand.


Under the province's legislated system of fish pricing, the price-setting panel will hold a snow crab herring on March 24 (see below schedule) if a price isn't hammered out by then between the FFAW and ASP.

The Minister's Date is the date by which binding collective agreements are to be in effect for each species — with April 3rd set for snow crab.

If the FFAW and ASP are successful in negotiating a pricing formula for crab (as is the case in the halibut, lobster, and lumpfish fisheries) the inshore fleet may not learn of their final price for a number of weeks after a catch is landed because the system is partly based on market returns.

While the FFAW and ASP have pledged to work together to address prices for the upcoming 2023 season, SEA-NL has said that ASP must open its books: ASP plays historic poor mouth leading into 2023 crab season (but must open books and prove it)

The 2022 snow crab quota for the province was set at 50,470 tonnes, a 32% overall increase over 2021, although the quota off Labrador was down 28%.

The 2023 quotas are usually announced by March.

2022 — 110m pounds $758 million $6.88

2021 — 84.6m pounds $624 million $7.37

2020 — 64.7m pounds $223 million $3.44

2019 — 59.2m pounds $308 million $5.20

2018 — 61.9m pounds $298 million $4.81

2017 — 74m pounds $325 million $4.39

2016 — 92m pounds $274 million $2.97

2015 — 104m pounds $257.6 million $2.47

2014 — 110m pounds $257.6 million $2.34

2013 — 112m pounds $220 million $1.96


Newfoundland and Labrador's snow crab fishery is Canada's largest with a 2022 landed value of $758 millionmore than all other commercial fisheries combined.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization that serves as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters. Visit to join.

See other SEA-NL snow crab posts:

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