Industry

Stories from the KUCB Newsroom on the topic of business and industry. Also includes volunteer Frank Kelty's weekly fisheries update, the Unalaska Fisheries Report.

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.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Bering Sea fishermen head out Monday for the start of the commercial crabbing season.

Despite participating in what has long been considered one the country's most dangerous fisheries, the crab fleet has made major safety strides in the last two decades.

KUCB's Laura Kraegel spoke with Captain Bill Wichrowski of the F/V Summer Bay and Scott Wilwert of the U.S. Coast Guard's fishing vessel safety program about that changing culture.

Pipa Escalante/KUCB

PenAir is headed to the auction block Wednesday — more than a year after the southwest Alaska airline filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Court and company officials have declined to name the prospective buyers that submitted bids last week, but residents say they're hoping for more reliable service.

Lauren Divine has had a lot of "unfortunate" experiences flying PenAir.

"With customer service, reservations, flights being delayed and canceled," she said.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

After more than 20 years of playing with the idea, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is closing in on its final recommendations for a dredging project in Iliuliuk Bay.

Removing a large bar could open the Port of Dutch Harbor to deeper-draft vessels — and bigger business. But it might also affect wildlife, currents, and erosion along Front Beach.

This week, the Corps is visiting Unalaska to present the first draft of its feasibility study. KUCB's Laura Kraegel spoke with Ports Director Peggy McLaughlin to learn more about the project.

TRANSCRIPT

Sarah Hansen/KUCB

This winter, Unalaska's seafood plants could host a handful of prison inmates — if the community joins a work release program run by the state Department of Corrections.

DOC Commissioner Dean Williams proposed the idea to the City Council this week, citing interest from at least one local processor that he declined to name.

Williams said he'd like to start with four or five inmates, who would go through a thorough vetting and selection process. They'd work at plants and live at bunkhouses under strict rules and electronic surveillance.

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