Third time in 20 years the fishery has been shortened
KFSK in Petersburg reports that the Dungeness crab fishery in Southeast Alaska will close two weeks early at the end of July because fishing has been so slow. The season opened on June 15.
It’s only the third time in the last 20 years that the fishery has been shortened and it’s a far cry from most recent years.
Last year saw the second highest harvest on record and the highest price ever paid for a fishery worth $13 million at the docks.
About 200 fishermen registered for this summer’s fishery, and they’ve reported poor fishing throughout the region.
Joe Stratman, area shellfish manager at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, estimated the summer catch at about 2 million pounds. That is below the 2.25 million pounds that’s needed for a full season.
The poundage landed in the first week of the fishery was about 433,000 pounds, down by nearly half of landings in the first week of the 2021 season, Stratman told KFSK.
Because of the slow start, ADF&G announced on June 29 that the fishery would close two weeks early, at the end of July.
Dungeness crab prices have plummeted this year to around $2.79/pound, compared to last year’s $4.21. Still, the current price is around the 10-year average, KFSK said.
Biologists said the Dungie downturn could be part of a natural cycle and environmental factors as well. What does it mean for the fall Dungeness fishery? Stratman said a decision will be made by mid-August. Read the rest of KFSK’s write up —
Kodiak Dungeness fishery picks up the pace
Pots have been pulling up more crab around Kodiak Island in the past two weeks after getting off to a slow start in two fishing districts that kicked off in May and June.
ADF&G said there have been 15 vessels with landings thus far for a total of 353,000 pounds. The Dungies weigh 2.06 pounds, on average.
“Harvest was below the last 3 years (2019-2021) until recently. There has been an increase in harvest in the last two weeks, and total harvest is similar to 2019 and 2021 for this time of year. Harvest in early July in 2020 was 650,000 pounds,” said Cassandra Whiteside at ADFG/Kodiak.
Kodiak crabbers pulled up nearly 2 million pounds of Dungies for the 2021 season worth about $8.3 million to local fishermen.
Dungeness prices at Kodiak this summer are also in the tank.
Reports said prices are “bouncing around a bit” but down by about half of last year’s record $4.35/lb.