Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Harvest of Norton Sound King Crab Continues

Community development quota fishermen rebaited their pots on Aug. 27, and set out to harvest the remaining 17,000 pounds of Norton Sound red king crab quota, on the heels of what has already proven a record payout season.

Spokesmen for the Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. at Nome said that the fishery has already paid out nearly $2.4 million to 31 fishermen for approximately 435,000 pounds of delivered crab.

Norton Sound Seafood Products, a division of NSEDC, the regional CDQ group, sells the majority of its crab in Japan.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game noted in mid-August that Norton Sound permit holders had already harvested 440,000 pounds of red king crab in the open access commercial king crab fishery. It was back-to-back record payouts for Norton Sound crab fishermen as this year’s price to fishermen exceeded the previous record exvessel value of $2 million in 2011, state biologists said.

So far this year the prices paid to fishermen in Norton Sound for red king crab have ranged from $5.25 to $5.60 a pound. That compared with 75 cents a pound paid in 1979, a record harvest year when fishermen caught nearly 3 million pounds. The combined open access and CDQ harvest this year will be about 475,000 pounds of crab.

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