Booming Season Ahead for Bering Sea Crab Fisheries

Total allowable catches set for Bering Sea tanner crab, red
king crab and St. Matthew Island blue king crab for the season opening Oct. 15
are bound to keep harvesters real busy.
The tanner crab quota for the Eastern Bering Sea is
8,480,000 pounds, with 7,632,000 pounds allocated to holders of individual
fishing quota and 848,000 pounds for community development quota groups. For
the Western Bering Sea, harvesters have an allowable catch totalling 6,625,000
pounds, with 5,962500 pounds going to IFQ holders and 662,500 pounds for the
six CDQ groups.
That’s a huge jump from a year ago, when the Eastern Bering
Sea had a total allowable catch of tanner crab set at 1,463,000, including
1,316,700 pounds for the IFQ holders and 146,300 pounds for CDQs, and a total
of 1,645,000 pounds of tanner crab for the Western Bering Sea, including
1,480,500 pounds for IFQ holders and 164,500 pounds for CDQ groups.
The good news also prevails with higher quotas for the
Bristol Bay red king crab fishery and the opening of the St. Matthew Island
section blue king crab fishery, which was closed last year.

Bristol Bay red king crab quotas for this season total
9,986,000 pounds, with 8,987,400 pounds allocated to IFQ holders and 998,600
pounds going to CDQs.
A year ago the total allowable catch was 8.6 million pounds,
including 7,740,000 pounds for IFQs and 860,000 pounds for CDQs.
Harvesters of Saint Matthew Island section blue king crab
have a total allowable catch allocation of 655,000 pounds, with the IFQs
getting 589,500 pounds and CDQs allowed to harvest 65,500 pounds.

The Bering Sea tanner crab fishery closes March 31, the red
king crab fishery on Jan. 15, and the St. Matthew blue king crab fishery on
Feb. 1.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists at Dutch
Harbor are expected to announce the total allowable catch for snow crab within
the next few days.