Harvest of Norton Sound King Crab Continues

Community development quota fishermen rebaited their pots on
Aug. 27, and set out to harvest the remaining 17,000 pounds of Norton Sound red
king crab quota, on the heels of what has already proven a record payout season.
Spokesmen for the Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. at
Nome said that the fishery has already paid out nearly $2.4 million to 31 fishermen
for approximately 435,000 pounds of delivered crab.
Norton Sound Seafood Products, a division of NSEDC, the regional
CDQ group, sells the majority of its crab in Japan.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game noted in mid-August that
Norton Sound permit holders had already harvested 440,000 pounds of red king crab
in the open access commercial king crab fishery. It was back-to-back record payouts
for Norton Sound crab fishermen as this year’s price to fishermen exceeded the previous
record exvessel value of $2 million in 2011, state biologists said.
So far this year the prices paid to fishermen in Norton Sound
for red king crab have ranged from $5.25 to $5.60 a pound. That compared with 75
cents a pound paid in 1979, a record harvest year when fishermen caught nearly 3
million pounds. The combined open access and CDQ harvest this year will be about
475,000 pounds of crab.