BAIRDI CRAB

Red King Crab Quota Down 35 Percent

Oct 15, 2018
Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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 percent lower than last season's TAC, which was already the lowest since 1996.

Biologists expected the annual trawl survey to show a decline in the red crab population, but the drop was even greater than anticipated.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

The Alaska Board of Fisheries has scheduled a special meeting in May to consider changing the harvest strategy for Bering Sea tanner crab.

The current strategy sparked controversy last year, when biologists were forced to cancel the $50 million commercial fishery after the bairdi population fell short of the opening threshold.

Daher Jorge

The Bering Sea b​airdi crab fishery stayed closed this year for the fi​rst time in four seasons.

State biologists decided there were too fe​w crab to harvest safely, but fishermen are questi​oning that call. They say they saw plentiful bairdi while crabbing for other species.