Red king crab haul at Bristol Bay
There will be a red king crab fishery at Bristol Bay this season, albeit with a reduced catch.
Based on summer surveys, fishery managers have ok’d a catch of 6.6 million pounds, down 22 percent from last year’s take of 8.5 million pounds.
Fish and Game has announced there will again be no opener at the Pribilofs for red or blue king crab due to low stock abundances.
Likewise, no fishery will take place this year for blue kings at St. Matthew Island.
No word yet on Bering Sea snow crab or bairdi Tanner catches.
The crab fisheries open on October 15.
It’s really catastrophic news for cod fish catches next year and beyond in the Gulf of Alaska.
Seafood.com reports that fishery scientists “shocked” North Pacific Council committee members this week with news that surveys showed the lowest numbers ever for Pacific cod.
Year classes for 2012 and 2013 appeared to be wiped out, and failed to show up in this year’s surveys. The crash coincided with the extended period of very warm Gulf waters in 2014-15.
The surveys, done every other year, showed a 71 percent decline in Gulf cod abundance since 2015.
Catch numbers for the federal water fisheries will be finalized by the Council in December.
On a brighter note: Early numbers show Alaska’s 2017 salmon catch of nearly 225 million fish had a value to fishermen of about $700 million, a 67 percent increase over last season, and the third highest value since 1975.
Sockeyes accounted for 48 percent of the total salmon value. For poundage, for the third time ever the statewide salmon catch topped one billion pounds.
More complete reports will be posted on our website –