Wednesday October 12, 2022

National Fisherman

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game canceled all opilio snow, red king crab, and blue king crab seasons for 2022-2023, in a devastating blow to North Pacific fishermen and processors after trawl surveys showed a continuing crash in abundance.

The announcement came Monday after Bering Sea crabbers had pressed the North Pacific Fishery Management Council during its October meeting to do more to reduce crab bycatch in trawl fisheries.

“On the heels of that decision came to an announcement that Bristol Bay red king crab will be closed for the second year in a row, and Bering Sea snow crab will close for the first time in the history of this fishery,” according to a statement from the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers.

The group projects lost revenue at $500 million and warned that “Many members of Alaska’s fleet will face bankruptcy, including second- and third-generation crabbers whose families are steeped in the culture of this industry. Long-time crew members who have worked these decks for decades will be jobless.”

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