King, Tanner Crab on Alaska Board of Fisheries Agenda

Statewide king and tanner crab issues, except for Southeast Alaska and Yakutat, will come before the Alaska Board of Fisheries March 20-24 in Anchorage.

There are 38 proposals on the meeting roadmap, online at The meeting is open to the public and live audio stream is to be available via the board’s website,

The board will consider two proposals for the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim, three for Kodiak and the South Peninsula, 12 proposals for the Bering Sea, three for the Aleutian Islands, two for Cook Inlet, and seven for Prince William Sound.

Among those seven Prince William Sound proposals is one from Cordova District Fishermen United to create a harvest strategy and amend regulations to allow for a commercial tanner crab fishery in that area.

CDFU states in its proposal that Prince William Sound is the only area in Alaska that has a stock assessment for tanner crab and no harvest strategy in regulation. Alaska Department of Fish and Game trawl surveys have documented an increase in tanner crab abundance, and a commercial tanner crab fishery could provide economic opportunity to local fishermen and communities, CDFU says in its proposal.

Given the state’s current fiscal crisis, more cuts are anticipated in ADF&G’s budget, which could result in more fishery surveys being eliminated. CDFU is concerned that if a harvest strategy is not adopted quickly, they risk the loss of a survey, and with that any hope for a commercial tanner crab fishery in Prince William Sound.