Friday, September 25, 2009

Southeast red king crab fishery to remain closed

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today we won't be having a Southeast Alaska red king crab fishery in 2009-10.

This will be the fourth consecutive season closure due to weak crab stocks.

The state's management plan says the fishery can't open unless the stock is able to support a catch of at least 200,000 pounds of mature male red king crab.

Fish and Game estimates the stock, based on the latest survey results, could support only a 13,075-pound harvest.

"Regionally, the biomass of mature male red king crab has been declining since 2001 and is currently at its lowest level in sixteen years," according to this Fish and Game press release.

The commercial catch of red king crabs in Southeast peaked in 1979-80, when 39 permit holders took 658,087 pounds.

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