Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
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RED KING CRAB

  • The recent closure of the Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay red king crab fisheries has some of Western Alaska’s coastal towns taking a hard look at their futures, and one small island is bracing for a huge hit. The Pribilof Island of St. Paul runs on snow crab — also known as opilio crab. The community’s Trident Seafoods is one of the largest crab processing plants in the world. So when fisheries management officials announced the species “overfished” and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game shut down snow crab for the first time in the fishery’s history in October, City Manager Phillip Zavadil knew the community needed to act fast. “We're trying to get creative and have people understand that this is going to happen more and more, and that we need to address it,” Zavadil said. “We can do something now, instead of waiting for next year, when we don't have any funding or we can't provide services.”
  • The Governor requested expedited disaster designations to jumpstart the process of sending money to fishermen in both the 2022 Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay red king crab fisheries, citing the complete closure of both this season.Rep. Mary Peltola has also requested emergency relief funding in a letter addressed to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chair of the House Appropriations Committee.The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced earlier this month that the Bering Sea snow crab fishery will not open for the first time in its history.
  • Bering Sea snow crab will close for the first time in the fishery’s history. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Monday afternoon that snow crab — also known as opilio crab — and Bristol Bay red king crab would not open for the upcoming fall and winter fishing seasons. Miranda Westphal, an area management biologist for ADF&G, said stocks are just too low to justify opening either fishery. “All of our crab stocks in the Bering Sea have seen declines the last few years,” Westphal said. “[For] red king crab, we've been seeing declines for a little over a decade now. We just see very little recruitment coming into the population — not a lot of crab maturing into a fishable size. And so we're just seeing more of that this year.”
  • A tech startup that visited Unalaska in 2020 as a potential satellite launch site says they are finalizing their choice of location. And while communication between the company and the city began to fade earlier this year, the startup says Unalaska is still in the running.
  • The City of Unalaska is preparing for major budget reductions. At Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting, City Manager Erin Reinders told council members that the recent red king crab closure, and major reductions in the snow crab fishery, will hit the city hard.
  • The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced earlier this month that all major crab stocks are down. And for the first time in over 25 years, the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery will be closed.
  • Today marks the opener for the 2020 red king crab fishing season. The beginning of the king crab season is always a busy time in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor,…
  • After a partial opening this year, the Eastern Aleutian District tanner crab fishery is closed for 2019. The district has three sections: Akutan,…
  • While crab fishing is underway in the Bering Sea, the quota for red king crab is down significantly.At 4.3 million pounds, the total allowable catch is 35…
  • For the second year in a row, crab fisheries in southwest Alaska are facing steep cuts and closures. The quota for this year’s Bristol Bay red king crab…