Fish Radio
Bristol Bay wrap, Crabbers petition for Tanners, dive updates
September 16, 2016

St. Paul Island, AK Credit:

St. Paul Island, AK

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – A nice pay day at Bristol Bay and crabbers petition for more Tanners. More updates after this –

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Bristol Bay’s salmon run this summer was the second largest in two decades, and the  harvest of 39.2 million fish was the top catch in that same time.    More than 37 million of the fish were sockeyes – 26 percent above the forecast.  That’s according to a preliminary season wrap up this week by Fish and Game, which says the value of the salmon catch to Bristol Bay fishermen this summer topped $156 million, compared to $95 million last year.

Bering Sea communities and crabbers are petitioning the state to take another look at the Tanner crab stocks before closing the entire fishery.  The summer trawl survey showed low numbers of female crabs in the eastern fishing region, but not so much in the western district. A certain female threshold must be met for a Tanner fishery to open. The harvest last season was nearly 20 million pounds.  The Cities of Unalaska and St. Paul are joining an emergency request to not close the entire fishery when only one region appears at risk.  The Bering Sea crab fisheries open in mid-October.

The news is better for Dungeness crabbers in Southeast. They are set to drop pots on October 1 for a total catch projected at 2.25 million pounds of crab this year.

Divers should know any day what their sea cucumber harvest will be. In Southeast, nearly 200 divers usually target more than a million pounds of sea cukes and fetch as much as $4 a pound.

Kodiak has a much smaller cucumber fishery of 140,000 pounds this year taken by about 20 divers. Five thousand pound sea cucumber fisheries also occur at Chignik, the Alaska Peninsula, the Aleutians and Bering Sea.

The industry will get a first peek at next year’s groundfish catches when the North Pacific Council meets the week of October 3 in Anchorage.

The state Board of Fisheries will take up 276 proposals during its meeting cycle that gets underway in late October. Kodiak and Cook Inlet will dominate the agenda.

Fish links to fish meetings, catches and more at

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.