The 2012 Norton Sound summer king crab fishery has set a record in ex-vessel value, with fishermen paid a range of $5.25 to $5.60 a pound for their harvest.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game said Norton Sound permit holders harvested 440,000 pounds of red king crab in the open access commercial king crab fishery for a record payout of $2.4 million. It was back-to-back record payouts for Norton Sound crab fishermen as this year’s ex-vessel value exceeded the previous record ex-vessel value of $22 million in 2011.
The record harvest of nearly 3 million pounds of Norton Sound red king crab in 1979 paid only 75 cents a pound. This summer’s harvest was the highest red king crab harvest for Norton Sound since 1986.
The community development quota portion of the crab fishery remains open with slightly over 17,000 pounds of red king crab remaining on the quota of 34,910 pounds. The combined open access and CDQ harvest this year will be about 475,000 pounds of crab.