State Announces Ongoing Shrimp Fishery Closures
The following press releases are courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Juneau Area Section 11-A Remains Closed to Sport and Personal Use Pot Shrimp Fishing in 2021
Juneau- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the sport and personal use (PU) pot shrimp fisheries in the Juneau area will remain closed until further notice. The closed area consists of all marine waters of Section 11-A (see attached map) north and west of a line extending from a regulatory marker near Point Bishop at 58o 12.32? N. lat., 134o 10.14? W long., to the Coast Guard marker and light on Point Arden at 58o 09.55? N. lat., 134o10.68? W. long., south of the latitude of Little Island Light at 58 o 32.41? N. lat., and east of a line from Little Island Light to Point Retreat Light.
Due to declining commercial fishery catch per unit of effort (CPUE) indicating low spot shrimp abundance in Section 11-A, the commercial, sport, and personal use fisheries were closed July 1, 2013 to allow the shrimp population in this area to rebuild. Creel census data from 2003–2007 indicated that the PU/sport fishery harvests were approximately equal to commercial harvests during this time. Department surveys conducted the past 3 years by Division of Commercial Fisheries indicate that recruitment of younger shrimp has failed to occur and closure of all pot fisheries that harvest spot shrimp in this area remain necessary to rebuild the population.
The intention of these closures is to allow spot shrimp abundance to rebound to a sustainable level that can again sustain harvests. The department will continue to monitor the Section 11-A shrimp resource.
HOONAH SOUND SUBSISTENCE AND SPORT SHRIMP FISHERIES REMAIN CLOSED
Subsistence and sport shrimp fisheries in the Hoonah Sound portion of District 13 will be closed north and west of a line from 57°35.07? N lat, 135°33.57? W long to 57°37.89? N lat, 135°28.65? W long, from 12:00 a.m. Friday, January 1 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, December 31, 2021 (Figure 1).
The District 13 spot shrimp survey was conducted annually from 1999 through 2014 and from 2017 through 2020. From 1999–2014 the shrimp population in Hoonah Sound was considered healthy and relatively stable based on survey and commercial fishing data. Beginning in 2015, commercial fishing data indicated declining stock health. Survey results from 2017–2020 indicate the health of the spot shrimp population in Hoonah Sound declined and remains poor. Survey catch rates of both small and large size class shrimp declined from 2017 to 2019 with the 2019 catch rates among the lowest for each size class in the history of the survey. In 2020, the catch rate of small size class shrimp increased but was still below the long-term average; the catch rate of large class shrimp saw marked improvement in 2020. Size information collected from the 2020 survey continues to suggest that several younger generations of shrimp are still experiencing very poor survival.
The Section 13-C commercial fishery was closed for the 2020/21 season and will remain closed through the 2021/22 season. The subsistence and sport fisheries first closed in March 2020. The continued closure of shrimp fisheries in the Hoonah Sound portion of District 13 is warranted in order to protect the female spot shrimp and to aid in the recovery of the stock.