Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Norton Sound Red King Crab Price Is Highest On Record

Red king crab harvests in Alaska’s Norton Sound winter open access fishery made 284 landings, for a total of 44,998 pounds and total ex-vessel value of $304,117, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said in a season summary.

Statistical information gathered by ADF&G showed an overall catch per unit effort of five crab per pot and an average weight of 2.67 pounds, and that the price paid for the crab averaged $6.99 a pound, the highest price ever for the Norton Sound king crab fishery.

The ex-vessel value of the fishery was the third highest for the winter.

A total of 44,998 pounds of some 16,767 crab were harvested, with roughly a third harvested in February and two-thirds in March.

Still the total amount of crab harvested was 45 percent of last year’s harvest, and the number of landings was 43 percent by comparison.

The season started later this year, when ice was more stable, and the number of pots reported lost was much less compared to last year, state biologist said.

Similar to last year, a number of fishermen and harvesters came from the Nome area.

The Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. And Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association divided the CDQ allocation for their area. Only fishermen designated by these two CDQ groups are allowed to participate in this portion of the king crab fishery. They must have a CDQ king crab permit from the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and register with ADF&G before they make their first delivery. Fishermen operate under the authority of the CDQ group and each CDQ group decides how to harvest their crab quota. In 2016, as in nine previous years, YDFDA transferred its quota to NDEDC.

The combined results from the winter and summer Norton Sound CDQ fishery included 189 landings and 2,253 pot lifts. The average price paid to fisherman was $7.50 a pound in winter and $6.30 in summer- value of $278,976 for the CDQ fishery. This was the 15th year a CDQ has occurred since the CDQ fishery was first implemented in 1998.

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