Saturday, January 14, 2023

Feeling hopeful, and crabby, in Kodiak

Unless delayed by weather, the Kodiak commercial Tanner crab season will open at noon tomorrow, and the harvest could be the biggest in many years.

But word out of Kodiak is that crabbers want higher prices than processors are offering, so the fleet might strike.

The Kodiak District Tanner crab quota is 5.8 million pounds, more than five times last season's quota. Kodiak hasn't seen a harvest this large since the nearly 9 million pounds taken in 1986.

Far larger harvests came in the 1970s, when the Kodiak District twice produced seasonal catches in excess of 30 million pounds.

As for price negotiations, one crabber a couple of days ago wrote Deckboss: "Kodiak fishermen are asking $5 a pound. The processors are not budging and are still at $2.50. Options are being explored to tender the crab west where the starting price is $3.70."


Deckboss said...

Sounds like the fishery is a go, based on this weather update from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Anonymous said...

Boats all still in harbor, looking for tenders to take crab out west for a fair price.

Anonymous said...

Leave them in the water for anything less than $4/lb.

Anonymous said...

Easy to say leave them in the water, that won't feed the crews, their families or make the boat payments. Fact of the matter is that there's a lot of crab on the market and soft demand. Cod guys went on strike out west got a nickel (12.5%) if you applied that to $2.50 you get something like $2.80. Long fish strikes are bitter, divisive and only occasionally net significant gains, in fact they more often net a serious loss and sooner or later somebody breaks ranks through greed or desperation. The idea of trying to round up tenders to ship the product west seems ludicrous to me 5.8 million pounds crab divided by 200k/ tender load is 29 boat trips from Kodiak to ? The fuel, tender cost, dead loss, and frankly the cheating as the unscrupulous players sell their short crab to the tenders... I guess if you could hold the fleet off until mid- March or April when they molt the problem will sort itself out.

Anonymous said...

Go coop and let the big boats haul a load out to dutch. If trident still hasn't come up to match the price after that leave the rest in the water. Everybody will win, unisea will get the load of crab they deserve for pushing price up, everyone will make some money to pay their bills and next year I bet trident will start negotiating in December.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is depending on Kodiak tanners to make payments is a fool, normally only a few lucky guy made decent money in the past. Leave ‘em in the water if they want pay a reasonable price, otherwise we are setting a bad precedent.