Alaskan king crab fishery. (Photo: ADFG)
Crab season opens in Alaska with lower TACs
Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 02:10 (GMT + 9)
Alaska officially opened the 2012-13 harvest season for Bristol Bay red king crab, St Matthew Island blue king crab and Bering Sea snow crab this week. The Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay red king crab fisheries together typically account for over 75 per cent of Alaska’s crab harvest.
The 2012-13 Total Allowable Catches (TACs) reflect the state’s commitment to responsible fisheries management and the willingness of Alaska’s managers to adjust their catch to align with the best scientific data available, informed the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI).
The TAC for Bristol Bay red king crab is set at over 7.8 million lb – 7.1 million lb of individual fishing quota and 785,300 lb for community development quota -- almost identical to the 2011-12 season. The fishery runs through 15 January.
For St. Matthew Island blue king crab, it is over 1.6 million lb -- including 1. 5 million lb of individual fishing quota and 163,000 lb of community development quota -- representing a 31 per cent drop year-on-year from 2.4 million lb. The blue king crab season runs until 1 February, The Cordova Times reports.
The TAC for Bering Sea snow (opilio) crab is set at 66.35 million lb, representing a 25 per cent reduction. The season runs until May.
Smaller Alaska crab fisheries include Aleutian Island golden king crab, which opened on 15 August with a TAC of 6.29 million lb, and Norton Sound red king crab, which ran from 29 June to 8 September and had a total harvest of 475,990 lb.
Alaska crab stocks are jointly managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) and the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC).
- Snow crab TAC up 64 pc; red king crab TAC cut in half
By Natalia Real