Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
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king crab

  • The Bristol Bay red king crab fishery has been closed for two years, and along with it, Bering Sea snow crab have abruptly disappeared, causing another complete closure. Together, the fisheries generally bring in millions of dollars to the fleet and the coastal Alaska communities that rely on them. Since 2021, when king crab closed and snow crab saw a huge decline in harvest numbers, fishermen have taken an estimated $287.7 million hit. Without those fisheries and without that revenue, more and more boats are relying on other work like fishing for cod and small amounts of bairdi crab or summer tendering gigs just to make ends meet. So when a group of Bering Sea fishermen recently heard they’d be getting paid less than they hoped for cod this winter season, they figured they couldn’t afford to just sit by. But that’s exactly what they did. When the season opened, they didn’t go out to fish…and it worked.
  • The Alaska House of Representatives agreed last week to changes made to a mariculture enhancement bill that would allow shellfish to be farmed in hatcheries, moving it one step closer to becoming law. House Bill 41 would allow certain nonprofits to pursue mariculture enhancement or restoration projects for species of shellfish — like abalone, razor clams, sea cucumbers and king crab. It would be the first time in Alaska’s history that people could raise animals like crab in hatcheries and release them into the wild to support commercial fisheries. Independent Rep. Dan Ortiz sponsored the bill, which was presented in February last year.
  • Dutch Harbor has been named the nation's top fishing port in terms of volume of seafood landed for the 23rd consecutive year. And the Aleutians East…