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6 October 2023 / king5.com / Erica Zucco

Alaska cancels snow crab harvest again due to population concerns

Kodiak, Alaska, United States

The snow crab harvest in Alaska has been canceled for the second year in a row due to concerns about population sustainability, but red king crab and Tanner crab will be available for commercial fishermen this season. Last year was the first time in history the U.S. snow crab fishery was closed. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game said the harvests were closed over concerns about long-term conservation and the sustainability of crab stocks.

Comment from Lesha Gruenzner:

The Pacific Northwest crabbers that fish in Alaska received disappointment news from the “North Pacific Fishery Management Council and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.” The snow crab season is closed for 2023 -2024, but red king crabs in the Bristol Bay and Tanner crabs will open this season to commercial fisherman. 2022 was the first snow crab season to be closed in the United States history. According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game, there were concerns about the external conservation and maintaining the sustainability of crab being in stock. King crab is back to its normal levels that allows fisherman to harvest 2.15 million crabs. In 2020, there was only 2.6 million pounds of crabs which is below the sustainable harvest levels for fisherman. However, according to a local Alaska Bering Sea crabber Jamie Goen, said it’s a relief for the crab industry to be re-open again with some financial relief since fisherman are still waiting for federal relief funds from previous crab closures that has not been paid to the communities and fishermen.

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