Eastern Aleutian District commercial fisheries for tanner crab will be closed in 2019, according to a statement released on Dec 4 by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The season for the Akutan, Makushin/Skan Bay and Unalaska/Kalekta Bay sections normally runs from Jan. 15 through March 31.
Survey abundance estimates of mature male Tanner crab were 39,756 crab for the Akutan section, 250,744 for Makushin/Skan Bay and 251,708 crab for Unalaska/Kalekta Bay.
State biologists said the abundance estimate is below the allowable threshold of 200,000 crab for the Akutan section to open. For the Makushin/Skan section, the abundance estimate was above the threshold of 45,000 crab required for a fishery opening, but due to the high exploitation rate on legal males necessary to meet the minimum regulatory guideline harvest level of 35,000 pounds, that section would remain closed. The same hold true for the Unalaska/Kalekta Bay section which saw abundance survey numbers above the 65,000-crab threshold.