The commercial tanner and golden king crab fisheries in Southeast Alaska get under way today, after a delay prompted by a forecast of really nasty weather.
Staff at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office in Petersburg made the decision for a 24-hour delay in the start of the season after meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasted winds of 35 knots and higher and freezing spray over most of the region. According to weather delay criteria for both fisheries in regulation, if after the initial delay gale warnings continue region-wide, the season opening for both fisheries may be delayed an additional 24 hours and may continue on a rolling 24-hour basis.
As outlined in the harvest strategy, the initial period of the commercial tanner crab fishing season in the core areas and non-core areas is at least five days in length and may be increased with additional fishing days allowed based on the number of registered pots at the start of the fishery. At the end of the initial period, the core areas close to fishing and the non-core areas will remain open for an additional five days.
For the golden king crab fishery, in-season reporting of crab logbook data is required daily, with the first required all-in tomorrow, Feb. 13. The golden king crab fishery has a quota of 495,000 pounds, divided into seven management areas, each with their own specific quota, said Joe Stratman at the Petersburg area state fisheries office.