September 10, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Crab survey results – puny pink salmon – and cod prices tick up. More after this –
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It’s mixed results for Bering Sea crab stocks, based on the summer surveys. For nearly 40 years fishery managers have trawl surveyed about 400 regions to track the health and abundance of the various crab stocks. The annual report, dubbed the “road map” by crabbers, shows survey hot spots and other data prior to the season opener.
Some highlights: red king crab stocks at Bristol Bay appear stable. Legal males are at the highest level in four years, up nearly 40 percent since year’s survey. Mature females, however, have declined 26% so chances of an increased quota are mixed. Last year’s red king crab catch was 7.8 million pounds.
Catch numbers could drop for Bering Sea snow crab – the number of legal males dropped five percent and mature females declined 20 percent. Last year just over 66 million pounds of snow crab were taken.
One bright note: a small fishery for Bering Sea Bairdi Tanners could reopen for the first time since 2010. Those crab fisheries get underway in mid-October.
Turning to salmon – Alaska’s record number of pinks this summer were, in fact, pretty puny. State data show the fish at Prince William Sound averaged just over 2 and ¾ pounds – down a full pound from last year. At Southeast, pink salmon weight is down 18 percent, to 2.9 pounds. And at Kodiak, pinks weighed just over three pounds, down 14%.
Finally, Alaska cod fishermen could be getting a price break. Undercurrent News reports the big plug from the Barent’s Sea has moved through the global market leaving buyers ‘aggressively’ looking for fish. September is usually a big buying month for cod.
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.