FISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA
NOTICE TO FISH HARVESTERS
Bitter Crab Handling Practices and Identification
DFO reminds Snow crab fish harvesters to employ the following handling practices in order to prevent the spread of Bitter Crab Disease (BCD):
. Remove the infected crab from the catch for disposal ashore
. Keep them in a sealed container until landed and send them to a landfill
. Don't throw bitter crab back into the ocean
Bitter crabs are not counted against Individual Quotas.
Identification: A bitter crab has a "cooked" appearance, is a ghostly or dead-looking white. Legs are opaque white but in early stages, they may show white streaks on the translucent underside. The usually red-brown back may have a pink or orange tint. Infected crab may have drooping limbs and mouthparts.
BCD is harmless to humans but fatal to crabs; can contribute to the decline of the commercial crab stocks; affects the market quality of crab.
To find out more about bitter crab, and to view pictures to aid in identification, please visit:
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