Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Alaska Rejects New PWS Crab Fishery

A proposal aimed at developing a harvest strategy to reintroduce a golden king crab fishery in Prince William Sound was rejected on Tuesday, March 10 during the Alaska Board of Fisheries statewide king and tanner crab meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

Cordova District Fishermen United (CDFU) had sought to reintroduce the fishery for the northern and western districts of Prince William Sound. Their proposal argued that the golden king crab fishery had been closed for more than 30 years, yet the Alaska Department of Fish and Game had not conducted a survey to assess stocks since 2006 and is not working on a harvest strategy.

Meanwhile, according to CDFU, fishermen participating in the Prince William Sound Tanner crab fishery are reporting very high levels of king crab – more than 80 in some pots – and are not able to retain any of them under the current commissioner’s permit.

In other action, the board approved an Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) proposal to allow for gear transfers in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands individual fishing quota crab fisheries management plan to be authorized by electronic mail. ADF&G said it supported gear transfers because it reduced the frequency of rail dumping, which lowered handling and bycatch mortality of crab at the season’s end. The state agency also said that allowing them to authorize gear transfers by email while the vessels are on the fishing grounds would increase both department and fleet flexibility and efficiency.

The meeting continues through today, Wednesday, March 11.

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