Despite Continuing Closure, There Is Hope For Southeast Red, Blue King Crab Fishery

Despite continuing closures for Southeast Alaska crab fishing seasons, an Alaska’s News Source report says there is light at the end of this dark tunnel for red and blue king crab fishing that’s in a major slump. Here’s more:

However, there is some good news for fishermen and processors. Messmer said four of the seven survey areas for the fishery — Lynn Sisters, Juneau, Gambier Bay, and Seymour Canal — have shown signs of rebounding. According to the report, the “regional legal biomass increased by 9% and mature biomass increased by 20% from the previous year.” But Messmer said the numbers are not pointing in the direction of the fishery being open next year, either.

“Last year, we were right at about 95,000 pounds. You know, this year, we’re almost 120,000 pounds so it is going up. But to see a jump of 100,000 pounds in a year would be kind of extraordinary,” Messmer said.

He added the minimum threshold of 200,000 pounds of crab required to open the fishery would equate to about 24,000 to 25,000 harvestable crab.

Erickson said if the fishery were to open sometime in the future, the majority of the crab would be sold outside of Alaska.