A summer open access commercial fishery for Norton Sound king crab opens in mid-June in Nome, Alaska, but a major purchaser, Nome-based Norton Sound Seafood Products — a subsidiary of Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. — said it may not begin buying until early July.
Until there are buyers, crab permit holders were on their own to be director-marketers or catch-sellers of their harvest. Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials announced May 23 that the fishery would open on June 15. At that time, no buyer had registered for the harvest.
During the 2022 winter commercial fishery, eight permit holders harvested 7,357 pounds of red king crab. The guideline harvest level (GHL) for the winter commercial fishery was 27,328 pounds. A total Norton Sound red king crab GHL for the winter and summer commercial fisheries is 341,600 pounds and of that amount 7.5% is reserved for the community development quota fishery.
The 25,620 pounds reserved for the Community Development Quota combined with the winter commercial catch is 32,977 pounds, making 308,623 pounds available in the summer open access commercial fishery.
Those engaged in subsistence crabbing who planned to participate in the summer commercial crab fishery were required to stop subsistence crabbing by June 8 and return their subsistence permit to ADF&G or report their catch online before commercial fishing.
Commercial crab permit holders were required to register at the ADF&G office in Nome to receive crab pot tags before fishing.