Fedral Fisheries Frustrations


This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Federal Fisheries Frustration. Hear more after this…

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Call any federally operated fisheries office and you’ll most likely hear this…

“Alaska region offices are currently closed due to the lapse in fiscal 14 appropriations. Unfortunately other regional staff will not be able available to assist you with permitting or other fishery issues until an appropriations bill has passed and operations have resumed.”


The Restricted Access Management Division also known as Ram along with many other Federally funded departments  are currently shut down and having negative fallout on Alaska’s fishing industry, First and for most the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery.


“Yeah the status of the fleet is nervous.”


Jake Jacobsen is the Executive Director of Inter-Cooperative Exchange, they manage 70 percent of the king crab quota. One of their concerns is not being able to get the Individual Fishing Quotas and the Individual Processing quotas issued before the seasons opener on October 15th . Jacobsen says that the bigger issue is not being able to meet the high demand of Japans holiday market.


“They like to have crab for new years. It’s a good luck food, they give it as gifts and they use it at the corporate parties. It is a popular item that they traditionally buy from Alaska for the New years season.”


Last year they delivered 99.6% of their crab to prior to November 9th prior to sending to Japan . Missing the shipping date would be extremely detrimental to the Bristol Bay red king crab market.


“If we don’t get started right away we might not get enough crab on that sailing date. Especially if the season is delayed for two weeks, then we are sunk.”

Crabbers in Kodiak are staying hopeful as the gear up to head to the fishing grounds.


“Are plan is we are going to go like it is gonna happen and we are going to hope  that they work it out. We are going to get our tank checked and be ready and then when the IFQ’s are issued we will go. That’s all we can do. We don’t have another choice.”

“What’s unique is we are all deck hands, and fishermen, and captains and yet when a crisis like this hits it’s surprising to see this industry pull together, unite, and fix the problem. It’s such a neat experience to be going through.”


Jacobsen adds…

“The guys in the king crab fleet work really hard. They put a lot into it, it is not an easy job. They put in the effort, they make good money and they deserve every penny of it. It’s a shame to see their income diminish on account of politics.”    


Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 101 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities. www.oceanbeauty.com  In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangin.