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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 562 | AIRED 11/01/2021

Global Snow Crab Update: Alaska, Canada, Norway, Russia

November 1st, 2021--- This week we provide a brief Snow Crab update as we confirm that Russia WILL increase its Total Allowable Catch for Snow Crab in 2022 - AND that they will be opening up a new fishing area resulting in an additional 2.1 million pounds added to quotas.

But first, as a part of our “What’s Good Campaign” - which seeks to spotlight something “Good” happening in the seafood world as opposed to unfortunate news…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just updated it’s advice on eating fish as part of a healthy diet for children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers.

The updated advice includes new information explaining that children 1 year of age can eat about 1 ounce of fish 2 times a week (from the “Best Choices” list), and that fish intake during pregnancy is recommended because moderate scientific evidence shows it can help the baby’s cognitive development.

And that’s what’s good this week in the world of seafood.


--- Russia’s new Total Allowable Catch for Snow Crab in 2022 breaks 100 million pounds next year with a TAC of 46,745 metric tonnes (or about 103 million pounds) - all while Kara Sea is added as a third fishing area that will see a TAC of 985 metric tonnes (or about 2.1 million pounds).

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Although this won’t compensate for the sharp cut to Alaska’s Snow Crab fishery, it is certainly welcomed news as Alaska’s Snow Crab TAC dropped a staggering 88 percent to 5.6 million pounds (for the upcoming 2021/22 season) compared to 45 million pounds the previous season.

The Russian Snow Crab fishery is a year-round fishery and is considered to be mostly completed now with a preliminary harvest of 41,417 metric tonnes (or about 91.3 million pounds).

Canada and Norway’s Snow Crab season are completed now as well, and although Alaska’s new season officially opened October 15, the fishing typically doesn’t get underway until after the new year.

Globally, Alaska, Canada, Russia, and Norway have contributed an estimated 309.3 million pounds of Snow Crab to the world this year, however with Alaska’s sharp cut, the global supply of Snow Crab in 2022 is to drop to an estimated 280.6 million pounds.


Canada is the world’s largest snow crab producer and although Fisheries and Oceans Canada can not confirm 2022 TAC’s until around March (of the new year), their lead Snow Crab Biologist in Newfoundland advised “the population of crabs becoming available to the fishery is expected to increase over the next two to four years in most areas.”

Canada’s Snow Crab TAC’s were 71,498 metric tonnes (or 157.6 million pounds) in 2021, 69,900 metric tonnes in 2020, and 66,719 metric tonnes in 2019.

--- Moving onto the market info, let’s go to our Director or Purchasing Nathan Brown.

"There is Opilio snow crab in the marketplace. However, the question is, will it all be bought up in a frenzy or will it last through to the New Year?

I believe that whenever pricing goes up beyond usual values people inherently become cautious about buying.

However, with food prices up in all proteins and the upcoming holidays coming, my prediction is a buying frenzy.


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My suggestion is that whomever uses Snow Crab for Thanksgiving and Christmas should stock up now as Russia will be focusing on King Crab for the foreseeable future.

Once the current snow crab that is in the USA and incoming is gone, it will be gone until February.

There are some contradictory theories about the Snow Crab supply for the next few months.

Some say it is going to be very short, other’s say they have stock and will have availability.


What I can see in the market is that coming off the summer, snow crab sales have not gained momentum, but there have not been any major holidays in the past 2 months.

The next holiday is Thanksgiving and with Covid restrictions being reduced throughout North America, and people hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas and NYE parties, it will be time to break out the Crab and Bubbly!

My prediction is that Snow Crab becomes popular to those who want to pay the price and treat themselves and their guests.

My prediction is also that it all sells out before Christmas.

My recommendation is to advise you to purchase as the price is only going to go up. If you need product for Christmas/NYE, you should be purchasing now."

CHECK OUT OUR #SeaTheGood CAMPAIGN Which Seeks To Spotlight Something “Good” Happening In The Seafood World As Opposed To Unfortunate News. #SeaTheGood

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