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fisheries

Lt. Jeff Mistrick // U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a commercial fisherman Tuesday after he was hit in the head by a crab pot.

Officials say the crew member was struck while the F/V Patricia Lee was fishing for golden king crab 190 miles west of Unalaska.

Air Station Kodiak sent two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews and an HC-130 aircraft to hoist the 27-year-old man from the vessel.

He was transported to Cold Bay and then Unalaska for emergency medical care.

Officials say he was in stable condition.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Golden king crab season opens Wednesday in the Aleutian Islands.

And for the first time in its 22-year history, the commercial fishery isn't capped by a rigid quota.

"It's really exciting this year," said biologist Miranda Westphal of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "It was great to have some freedom in setting limits in this fishery."

Brown crab prefer the deep, current-heavy waters of island passes, so it's basically impossible to count them. In fact, Westphal said this is the region's only large rationalized crab fishery without a survey.

National Transportation Safety Board

A crab boat that sank in the Bering Sea last winter likely capsized after the vessel became coated in hundreds of thousands of pounds of ice.

That's the conclusion of a report released last week by federal investigators.

The findings shed new light on the loss of the F/V Destination and its six crew members.  

NOAA Fishwatch

A month into pollock "B" season, fishermen have caught about 16 percent of the quota.

That's a bit of a slow start, according to Krista Milani of the National Marine Fisheries Service. At this time last year, the fleet had taken about 22 percent of the total harvest.

So far, 67 boats have participated in the fishery — a dozen fewer than last year.

Sarah Hansen/KUCB

International seafood buyers are scheduled to visit Unalaska this month, but they don't hail from a massive importer like China or Japan.

They're coming from Ukraine — a once-modest market for Alaska fish that's slowly reemerging after political upheaval and economic crisis.

In 2013, Ukraine spent $105 million on American seafood — a record for the Eastern European nation that loves hake, pollock, and salmon roe.

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