Offloading Tanner crabs at Kodiak
October 28, 2021
After being closed last year, the Kodiak Tanner crab fishery will open, along with the Chignik and South Peninsula Districts, at noon on January 15, 2022 unless delayed by weather.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) established guideline harvest levels (GHLs) for Kodiak at 1.1 million pounds, Chignik at 200,000 pounds, and the South Peninsula District at 500,000 pounds.
The Kodiak District’s GHL is further divided in the Eastside section (500,000 pound GHL), Southeast section (400,000 lbs.), and Southwest section (200,000 lbs.).
The South Peninsula District’s GHL is also divided into Eastern and Western sections; the Eastern will have a GHL of 200,000 lbs. and the Western, of 300,000 lbs.
The department’s survey showed the estimated abundance of mature male Tanner crab meets or exceeds abundance thresholds and minimum guideline harvest levels (GHLs) established in regulation. Further requirements are that in sections that meet or exceed the abundance thresholds, abundance must also be sufficient to provide for a GHL of at least 100,000 pounds per section and at least 400,000 pounds total for the entire district. Based on 2021 Kodiak District survey results, the Northeast, Westside, North Mainland, South Mainland Sections will remain closed for the 2022 commercial Tanner crab season.
Regulations also call for an opener in the Semidi Island Overlap Section when either the Southwest Section of the Kodiak District or the Chignik District opens; therefore, the Semidi Island Overlap Section will open in 2022 to both Kodiak District and Chignik District permit holders.
The 2022 Kodiak District Tanner crab GHL is below 2,000,000 pounds; therefore, the regulatory pot limit is 20 pots per vessel in the Eastside, Southeast, and Southwest Sections and 70 pots per vessel in the Semidi Island Overlap Section.
Kodiak district was closed this year (2020-2021) “due to the high exploitation rate on legal males needed to achieve the 400,000-pound district minimum GHL and the potential for high bycatch mortality on sublegal male crab that may recruit to legal size in the next 1–2 years,” according to ADF&G’s announcement last year.
In the Chignik District this year, the surveys showed abundance was sufficient to provide for a minimum GHL of 200,000 pounds, as stated in the regulations before a commercial Tanner crab fishery may occur in the district. The 2022 Chignik District commercial Tanner crab GHL will be 200,000 pounds. Chignik also opens at noon on January 15, 2022 unless delayed by weather. The regulatory pot limit is 30 pots per vessel. Vessels greater than 58 feet in overall length may not participate in the Chignik District commercial Tanner crab fishery.
In the South Peninsula District, 2021 surveys established that abundance for mature males was sufficient to provide for a minimum GHL of 200,000 pounds. Both the Eastern and Western Districts exceeded that threshold, allowing for Tanner crab GHLs of 200,000 pounds in the Eastern Section and 300,000 pounds in the Western Section. As in other areas, opening day here will be noon on January 15, 2022.
The regulatory pot limit is 20 pots per vessel. Vessels greater than 58 feet in overall length may not participate in the South Peninsula District commercial Tanner crab fishery.