Fish Radio

Crabbers brace for gov’t shutdown  again, fishing updates

September 2, 2015          gov shutdown

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Bering Sea crabbers brace for a government shutdown that could stall their fisheries. Lots of fishing updates after this —

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Bering Sea crabbers and other Alaska fishermen are bracing for a potential October 1,  Republican-backed government shutdown that could curtail or stall all fishing under federal management.

“People in Alaska and DC are working through furlough plans and potential impacts now and should be finalized early next week”, said Glenn Merrill, NOAA Fisheries’ second in command in Juneau.

Meanwhile, boats in the Gulf and Bering Sea are going strong in their fall  pollock, cod and  other groundfish seasons; the big Bering Sea crab fisheries open on October 15.

A shutdown won’t affect the big fall line-up of state run fisheries – salmon is about a wrap with the total catch topping 255 million fish. Lots of cod fishing is going on throughout the Gulf.

On October 1, hundreds of divers at Southeast Alaska will head down for geoduck clams, with a harvest set at over half a million pounds in all regions but Sitka, which may not open. On October 5th the sea cucumber dive fishery opens with the catch topping one million pounds.

No red or blue king crab fisheries at Southeast again this year due to low stock numbers. That fishery has been closed since 2007.

Kodiak and the Westward Region also will open for   much smaller sea cuke fisheries totaling  a combined 185,000 pounds.

Kodiak crabbers are awaiting word on a Tanner crab fishery which has been closed for two years.

Alaska’s halibut catch has just over two million pounds remaining in this year’s 17 million pound catch limit. That fishery will close on November 7.

Finally, 10 Alaskans are in the running for a seat on the International Pacific Halibut Commission. Deadline for support letters is October 23.

Find links to that and all of Alaska’s fish catches at

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. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.