AMCC”s Pop Up Shop Sells Crab, Cod, and Coho

 

 

This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Load up on crab, cod, and Coho, at a new pop-up shop. I’ll tell you more after this…

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more atwww.nwtaac.org.

ASMI’s Can Do and Cook It  Frozen campaigns are designed to keep people eating Alaska seafood all year round. Learn more about the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute at www.alaskaseafood.org

 The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is launching their 2017 Catch of the Season program with a pop-up fish market in Anchorage.  For years, the AMCC has offered seafood lover’s Alaskan salmon, crab, cod, and rockfish from local small boat fishermen, making it some of the highest quality, fresh-frozen seafood from Alaska. The Community Supported Fishery allows anyone to order shares of the season’s harvest while building relationships between the consumer and the fishermen.

 “Here at the AMCC office, we are offering the three C’s; which are crab, Coho, and cod. They are all frozen and individually packaged.”

David Fleming is AMCC’s Seafood Sales and Operations Manager-

“We thought this would be a neat way to start the year, and to have seafood available in time for Valentine’s Day, rather than our regular catch offerings that we usually do.”

The catch shares are a subscription based program, it uses delivery posts for subscribers to pick up their seafood at scheduled locations in Anchorage, Homer, and Fairbanks. This year they opened up the pop-up market so seafood buyers could meet the AMCC team.

“It’s a first come first serve type market. There are no pre-orders of boxes or shares. This is just an event that we have invited everyone to come to. We thought it would be fun to engage the community and support or local fishermen once again.”

Taku River Coho’s are being sold in 2 to 4 lb packages at $11 dollars per pound. Fleming says that they are being pressure bled, which is a new high-tech technique that makes the fish more fresh and delicious.

“As soon as the Coho are brought on board fishermen bleed and put the fish in live immersion tanks. After that, they gill and gut the fish and insert a hypodermic needle that is hooked up to pressured water; with enough pressure to rinse out all of the blood immediately.”   

They are also selling Kodiak gray cod packs of 2 to 4 filets at $7 dollars per pound; and 10-pound Norton Sound red king crab at 25 dollars per pound.  The pop-up event will be open this Thursday and Friday from 11 Am to 7 Pm. The first Catch of the Season subscription boxes should be available within the next few months, AMCC hopes to hold other pop-up seafood markets at their other locations in the near future.  Learn more about the AMCC at akmarine.org and find links at our website www.alaskafishradio.com

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.  www.oceanbeauty.com    In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.

Bering Sea Tanner crab fishery tanked by Board of Fisheries

Bairdi Tanner crab are the larger cousins of snow crab (opilio Tanner)
Credit: adfg


 

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – The Bering Sea Tanner crab fishery gets tanked for this year. More after this –

It was bad news for Bering Sea crabbers when the last hope for a bairdi Tanner fishery was dashed last week. The Board of Fisheries in a split vote decided against opening the fishery which produced 20 million pounds last year.  Crab harvests are based on results of summer surveys and for Tanners, the numbers are driven by the abundance of female crab. Those numbers were not sufficient enough to open even a reduced fishery.

“There’s something of a disconnect between all the people looking at it, the scientists and fishermen. And we thought there were enough crab to warrant a small harvest of four million pounds, which would be about four percent of the mature male biomass. Others thought a more precautionary approach was warranted. That’s where we’re at  – we are certainly disappointed but we will continue to work with Fish and Game and NOAA and crab plan team and continue looking and improving the way we look at the stock.”

Tyson Fick is spokesman for the trade group Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers.  Based on their pot pulls, the crabbers believe there are lots of Tanners out there that were missed by the annual survey.

  “We certainly all agree there are a lot of male bairdi out there but the harvest strategy hinges on a population of mature females. You don’t necessarily see those in the fishery because they escape through escape rings, they fall through the mesh. They are substantially smaller than the males targeted in the fishery. So we have to rely on other methods of finding out what the female undersized biomass is.”



It adds up to about a $50 million loss to the crab fleet. An even bigger hit stems from the Tanner crab drop out in the market place. Bairdi Tanners are the larger cousin of snow crab by a pound or more and the crabbers and ASMI worked hard to build a Tanner brand when the fishery was reopened just three years ago.

“Red Lobster and Joe’s Crab Shack and Publix Markets and all these domestic markets really appreciated what they are getting. It’s going to be an uphill road when we come back into the market again. “ 

Crab populations are highly cyclical and it’s tough to balance an appropriate harvest with protecting the resource and providing economic opportunity. Meanwhile, crabbers targeting snow crab now report hauling up lots of Tanners that must be tossed back. Fick says stakeholders are now planning a framework for a long term harvest strategy. He’s hopeful the Tanner crab customers will still be there when the fishery resumes.

“We hope our consumers who were so excited with bairdi crab in the market will be with us when it is back on the market and will understand that sometimes this is what sustainable fisheries management is about when products come and go in the market  it fluctuates with the biomass.”