3.3c – Developing tools and experiments to evaluate impacts of current and alternative fisheries management plans and spatial zoning on Hecate Strait Crab Fisheries

A number of recent developments are influencing the future viability of the Area A Dungeness crab fishery in British Columbia, including: a) the potential construction of the NaiKun windfarm and its impacts on crab mobility and fishermen’s access to traditional grounds, b) discussion of increasing the compliance of the fishery with DFO’s Sustainable Fisheries Framework, and c) increasing spatial allocation issues of the species throughout B.C. In addition, the Larocque Decision of 2005/2006 fundamentally changed how fisheries management services can legally be financed in the Dungeness crab fishery, among others. This change has left both government and industry struggling to adapt to new regulations and find practical ways to finance key management and science activities. There is an urgent need to assess the economic impacts of different management strategies for the Area A Dungeness crab fleet.

This project will study options for financing fisheries management, namely key management of the day-to-day operations of fisheries. The Larocque Decision and Canada’s response to it will be reviewed, along with international approaches to financing fisheries management activities, and optimal financing strategies between government and industry will be determined. In addition, a number of research objectives will be explored toward building a scientific program that can address several spatial, economic, and temporal questions about the fishery. A variety of research methods will be used to provide a better understanding of the biology and stock complexity of Dungeness crabs in B.C., which could help establish reference points for the different management areas.

Our work will provide DFO and the Area A Crab Association with guidance as the fishery adapts to changing biological and regulatory frameworks. It will also inform future decision-making around the financing of management across Canadian capture fisheries.


Project Leader Contact Information

Villy Christensen and Murdoch McAllister
University of British Columbia


Project Team

  • Aaron Greenberg - University of British Columbia graduate student (2011-present)
  • Andrew Edwards - Fisheries and Oceans, Pacific Biological Station
  • Dan Edwards - United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union (UFAWU)
  • Graham Gillespie - Fisheries and Oceans, Pacific Biological Station
  • Jim Boutillier - Fisheries and Oceans, Pacific Biological Station
  • Rachel Chudnow - University of British Columbia graduate student (2011-2012)