Dunleavy, Peltola Requesting Federal Disaster Relief For Struggling Crab Fisheries

First, here’s the press release Gov. Dunleavy announced earlier this week with aid requested for both the Bristol Bay red crab and Bering Sea snow crab fisheries:

October 25, 2022

On October 21, Governor Mike Dunleavy wrote to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, requesting she declares a fishery disaster determination for the 2022/23 Bristol Bay red king crab and Bering Sea snow crab fisheries. Additionally, Governor Dunleavy requested that the secretary expedites a disaster determination for the 2021/22 Bristol Bay red king crab fishery.

“Available information indicates the decline for both crab stocks resulted from natural causes linked to warming ocean temperatures. We listened to the stakeholders and their need for economic relief in the crab industry and Alaska’s affected communities. We are working swiftly to ensure the Secretary of Commerce considers our request,” said Governor Dunleavy. “I have requested that Secretary Raimondo declares a fishery disaster for both Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea and expedites the decision for the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery.”

“The decision to close snow and red king crab fishing this year was difficult understanding the impact the closure would have on fishermen and communities,” said Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. “However, given the lack of meaningful recruitment, my decision was to err on the side on conservation and sustainability. We must now focus on providing disaster relief to fishermen and communities and on developing rebuilding plans for these stocks that involve the fishing industry.”

Click here to view the letter from Governor Dunleavy to Secretary Raimondo.

Here’s today’s report from Alaska Public Media:

Dunleavy requested expedited disaster designations to jumpstart the process of sending money to fishermen in both the 2022 Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay red king crab fisheries, citing the complete closure of both this season.

Rep. Mary Peltola has also requested emergency relief funding in a letter addressed to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced earlier this month that the Bering Sea snow crab fishery will not open for the first time in its history.