State Sets Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast Sport and Subsistence Tanner Crab Limit

The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

 (Homer) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced today the Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport and subsistence Tanner crab fisheries season, gear, and limits for the 2020-2021 season. The “limited” Tanner crab fisheries will be open from October 1 through February 28, with a bag and possession limit of 3 legal male Tanner crab per person, an annual limit of 20, and gear limited to 1 pot or ring net per vessel.

The limited Tanner crab fishery provides harvest opportunity in years that the department trawl survey was not conducted or if the abundance estimate of legal Tanner crab from the survey is less than the threshold for the larger standard fishery. No trawl survey was conducted in 2020 due to the lack of funding.

New regulations were adopted by the Alaska Board of Fisheries during the March 2020 Statewide King and Tanner Crab meeting which include an annual limit of 20 crab per person, ring nets added as legal gear, and updated abundance thresholds for the standard fisheries. “The annual limit will help stabilize the harvest and ensure that the harvest remains under 10% of the legal male Tanner crab abundance,” said Area Management Biologist Mike Booz.

Permits are ONLY available online through the ADF&G store located under the “Fishing & Shellfish Permits” tab. Permits will be available starting Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

Individuals are encouraged to obtain only the sport or the subsistence permit, not both. There is no benefit to having both permits, you may not retain two bag limits. The sport permit allows an individual to fish in all Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast areas, while the area in which a subsistence permit can be fished is more restricted. Please refer to the online permit for maps and regulations in the sport and subsistence Tanner crab fishery areas.

Each permit holder is responsible for reporting online by March 15, 2021, even if the permit holder did not fish. Individuals who fail to report online by March 15, 2021, WILL NOT be eligible for a permit the following year.

Following the 2019-2020 season reporting deadline, ADF&G contacted all permit holders who had not yet reported to provide them the appeals process for reporting. After the appeals process, 99 individuals of 1,406 total permit holders had not reported or submitted an appeal and were placed on a fail to report list; they will be unable to receive a permit this season. Please be sure to report your permit information online, even if you do not harvest Tanner crab or go fishing. Accurate reporting is crucial to continue responsible management of this limited fishery and provide a small harvest opportunity each year.

For additional information, please contact Sport Fish Area Management Biologist Mike Booz or Commercial Fisheries Area Management Biologist Jan Rumble (Subsistence fishery) at (907) 235-8191.