Certifier : 
Global Trust Certification Ltd.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
10 Jul 2012
Certificate expires : 
14 Mar 2028


Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-0641 Snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) Traps - Pots 21 (Atlantic, Northwest) MSC-F-31328 (F-SAI-005)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) 2021 9,390

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

Eligibility, client groups and vessel lists

A fishery may choose to define the members of the fishery certificate. These members can be vessels or other client group members (e.g. companies that own vessels and/or companies that are named as eligible to handle certified product covered within the fishery certificate scope). Please refer to the fishery certificate statement on additional product specific eligibility criteria (e.g. product eligibility limitations, eligibility date, exclusive points of landing and the point where Chain of Custody certificate is required). Please consult the fishery Public Certification Report for product eligibility rationale.

Documents Published on Files
List of client group members 20 May 2020 1 files

About this Fishery

This fishery is located in the North West Atlantic, off the eastern and north-western coasts of Novia Scotia, and was certified in July 2012. The crabs are caught in conical or rectangular baited traps.

Snow crabs are the most important species of crab harvested in Atlantic Canada, and are exploited by commercial and First Nation fishers coastwide. The fishing season runs from April to September in the northeast and southeast parts of the fishery, and November to March in the rest. 

Commercial concentrations are found at depths from 60 to 280m, with larger snow crabs tending to favour soft mud bottoms. Male snow crabs are much larger than females, mature males weighing up to 1.5kg, while females weigh less than half a kilogram.


Market Information

Around 20,000 tonnes per annum are harvested. Most are destined for the Asian market, primarily Japan, although the US share is increasing.