“Current management approach includes devastating fishery closures, over emphasis on climate change. “
Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, the trade association that advocates for crab harvesters, has created a fishery action plan as a roadmap for managers, scientists, and industry to build resilience in this fishery.
Meanwhile, NPFMC takes no action on protecting crab resources; raises trawl bycatch limits for 2024/25
NPFMC recommends higher trawl crab bycatch across the board for 2024/25
Even prior to hearing Litzow’s presentation at its October meeting, the NPFMC released its recommended crab bycatch allowances for 2024 and 2025.
For red king crab, the allowable bycatch is 97,000 animals, up from 26,445 crabs for 2022 and 2023.
For snow crab, the allowable bycatch for each of the next two years is 4,350,000 animals, up from 3,623,201 crabs for the past two years.
For bairdi Tanner crab, the proposed bycatch in two fishing districts is 3,950,000 individual crabs, up from 2,604,904 crabs in 2022 and 2023.
Bycatch not considered in 10 year snow crab rebuilding plan
When the Bering Sea snow crab fishery was closed in 2022, the NPFMC was required to create a 10 year rebuilding plan for Bering Sea snow crab to comply with federal fisheries laws. The plan had to be in place prior to the start of the 2023/2024 fishing season for groundfish in Alaska waters.
According to the initial environmental assessment of the Rebuilding Plan for Eastern Bering Sea Snow Crab released on November 10, 2022:
And check out the proposed halibut and herring bycatch numbers in metric tons.
For halibut, it adds up to nearly 8 million pounds, of which the Seattle-based A80 fleet gets nearly half – the same fleet that took 9 orcas as bycatch while the whales were feeding on discarded halibut.
For herring, nearly 7.6 million pounds can be taken as bycatch.
Amendment 80 trawlers at Dutch Harbor