Crab, Jonah – Canada
Jonah Crabs are found at depths ranging from 1 to 800 m along the Atlantic coast of North America. Population abundance, growth rate, and time to sexual maturity are unknown, but males grow larger than females and are more frequently found in deeper water.
Jonah Crabs are commercially harvested in the both American Lobster fisheries and directed Jonah Crab fisheries. In Canada, they are managed by the federal government. Management measures include minimum size limits, sex restrictions (no females may be taken), seasonal and area closures, and limits on trap size, configuration, and numbers.
Jonah Crabs are captured using pots and traps that result in moderate damage to the seafloor. Despite overall low levels of bycatch, entanglements of critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in the lines that connect the traps or pots represents a serious threat to the whales recovery.