September 26, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Crab quotas, pollock surges and updates on Fraser River sockeye catches. That’s up after this —
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Bering Sea crab scientists and stakeholder met last week to discuss the outlook for Alaska’s biggest crab fisheries that open October 15th . The take away is that stocks of red king crab, bairdi Tanners and snow crab all showed big increases in mature sizes, based on data from the annual surveys. That has industry watchers predicting little, if any, changes to catches, said market expert John Sackton. The data showed some peculiarities though – a spike in water temperature might have redistributed the crabs into survey areas as they moved en masse to colder waters. That could discount stock increases.For 2014 the crab quotas were 8.6 million pounds for Bristol Bay red king crab; 1.6 million for Tanners, and 54 million pounds for snow crab.
Speaking of increases: Alaska’s pollock biomass may be at the highest level since 1982. Trawl and acoustic surveys both showed several big year classes coming into the pollock fishery – which accounts for 70% of the total Bering Sea harvest.
However, the healthy stock won’t translate into a higher catch quota. The fishery is managed under a two million ton cap, or about three billion pounds of Alaska pollock.
Finally, the Fraser River sockeye run in British Columbia is still ongoing, with the latest date on record for commercial catches. The total run now is pegged at about 21 million and the harvest last week topped 10 million fish. Fishing could continue for another week. Early prices for the Fraser sockeyes were at $1.50/lb US. Alaska’s sockeye catch this year stands at nearly 44 million fish.
Find links to all of Alaska’s fish catches and more at www.alaskafishradio.com
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.