Alaska Fish Board Increases Allocation of Aleutian Island Golden King Crab

A five percent increase in the Aleutian Islands golden king crab allocation, approved by the Alaska Board of Fisheries at its March meeting in Anchorage, goes into effect in August, raising the 2012-13 quota to nearly 6.3 million pounds.

That’s some 300,000 additional pounds annually.

Price potential is undetermined at this time.

Dick Tremaine, asset manager for Siu Alaska Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Norton Sound Economic Development Corp., said the overall price paid to fishermen last year for the entire fishery was just below an average of $5 a pound for six million pounds, so that the entire fishery was worth $30 million.

Tremaine said fishermen have been harvesting more golden king crab, also known as brown crab, in each pot, and the state board agreed that this justified an increase in the allocation.

Siu owns half of the individual fishing quota of the Aleutian 1, one of several vessels engaged in the fishery, and delivers to three processors at Dutch Harbor, including Alyeska, Unisea and Bering Fisheries.

Tremaine said there are expectations that prices may go down a little, possibly to a low of $4 a pound in ex-vessel value, with more legal crab coming in from Russia.

Another concern is the rising price of fuel, Tremaine said.

“We are burning 500 gallons a day of diesel at $4 a gallon for each trip,” he said.