Bristol Bay Red King Crab Quota Set

State fishery managers in Alaska have set the Bristol Bay red king crab quota for the season opening Oct. 15 at 8,469,000 pounds, with 7,622,100 pounds for individual fishing quota holders and 846,900 pounds in community development quota.

That’s down by about 15 percent from the 9,974,000 allocation last year, which was slightly again lower than the 2014-2015 quota of 9,986,000 pounds.

The fishery will run through Jan. 15.

The Pribilof District red and blue king crab fisheries will remain closed through the 2016-2017 season.

State fisheries biologists said that the Bristol Bay red king crab nature female abundance is over the harvest strategy threshold of 8.4 million crab and the 2016 effective spawning biomass of 42.21 million pounds is over the threshold of 14.5 million pounds. Since the 2016 effective spawning biomass is less than 55 million pounds but greater than 34.75 million pounds, a 12.5 percent exploitation rate is applied to the estimated mature male abundance of 10.18 million crab.

Despite a higher than average number of discarded legal males observed in the 2015-2016 season, the 2016-2017 total allowable catch was not discounted for the added mortality.

State officials warned however that discards of legal-sized male red king crab in the new season will be closely monitored and could result in a lower TAC for the 2017-2018 season.