Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. in Nome has announced its third highest payout on record for summer deliveries of red king crab to its subsidiary Norton Sound Seafood Products.
The community development quota group for the Norton Sound region of western Alaska said on Oct. 1 that 32 resident fishermen delivered a total of 337,393 pounds of Norton Sound red king crab to NSSP during the 2013 summer fishery. Harvesters earned a total of over $1.84 million, an average of nearly $57,400 per permit holder.
The 2013 summer red king crab fishery had proved challenging, despite starting the season with the largest quota in recent history. NSDC spokesman Tyler Rhodes said crab fishermen had difficulty locating productive fishing areas, and harvesters only seemed to achieve consistent harvests at the very end of the season. NSSP was again able to offer fishermen $5.50 a pound for crab delivered to the seafood plant, and $5.25 a pound for crab delivered to fishing tenders. These prices apply to crab purchased through both the open-access and CDQ fisheries, and mirror the dock price of NSSP’s record year in 2012. Fishermen from six of NSEDC’s member communities participated in the 2013 red king crab fishery, with the majority fishing from Nome, followed by Unalakleet and Shaktoolik.
Despite the difficulties this season, the payout to crab harvesters was the third highest on record for NSSP. In 2012, the company paid out $2.46 million and in 2011, $1.93 million.
NSSP is continuing to diversify its efforts, placing more emphasis in live markets both domestic and in Asia, although the majority of its production comes in the form of frozen sections processed in Nome. In addition to its traditional customers, NSSP is also now marketing direct to consumers through its recently launched website, www.NortonSoundSeafood.com
NSSP also processes coho salmon and halibut harvested from the waters of Northwest Alaska.