Dungeness crab are an important species in Roberts Bank. They are an key element within the ecosystem, are of critical importance to Indigenous groups, and are also valued for recreational and economic harvesting opportunities. It’s why our team has been working with Indigenous groups and regulators to identify best practices of mitigating potential effects to this important species. This work is aligned with our mandate to protect the environment and consider local communities, something that we take very seriously.
As part of the work to minimize impacts of the project on Dungeness crab, we’ve committed to:
- Removal of the Intermediate Transfer Pit, a temporary marine storage location for dredged sand, as proposed by Indigenous groups
- Support for crab harvesting for domestic and food, social and ceremonial purposes within the navigational closure area
- A follow-up program to monitor juvenile crabs and continued availability and use of nursery habitat
- Enhanced offsetting focused on priority species identified by Indigenous groups
Building off of these measures, the review panel made recommendations in their report that we stand ready to meet should they be made into conditions on the project. The review panel supported our proposed follow-up program for crab and eelgrass, an important habitat for juvenile crab, and we look forward to collaborating with Indigenous groups as we develop the follow-up program and work to refine offsetting locations.
In late June, we are planning to undertake a Dungeness crab field survey. Field crews will undertake surveys at defined sample locations in the intertidal zone between the north side of the Roberts Bank causeway and canoe passage, as well as the intercauseway area. Surveying will involve counting juvenile crabs and identifying marine vegetation, and will include both Indigenous knowledge and seek to include Indigenous participation.
We understand the importance of crab harvesting for food, social and ceremonial, commercial and recreational purposes. We look forward to collaborating with Indigenous groups, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, commercial and recreational stakeholders to protect Dungeness crab and ensure that any potential effects from the project are appropriately mitigated.