Bristol Bay king crab fishery opens Oct. 15

Commercial harvesters of Bristol Bay red king crab setting out on the fishery on Oct. 15 have been allocated a total catch of 8,469,000 pounds, down slightly from last year’s 9,974,000 quota and below the 2014-2015 quota of 9,986,000 pounds.

The 2016-2017 allowance for holders of individual fishing quotas 7,622,100 pounds, with another 846,900 pounds reserved for community development quota entities.

The fishery continues through Jan. 15.

Red and blue king crab fisheries in the Pribilof District will remain closed for the 2016-2017 season.

In an announcement issued from Dutch Harbor on Oct. 3, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said Bristol Bay red king crab mature female abundance is over the harvest strategy threshold of 8.4 million crab and the 2016 effective spawning biomass of 42.21 million pounds is over the threshold of 14.5 million pounds.

Since the 2016 effective spawning biomass estimate is less than 55 million pounds, but greater that 34.75 million pounds, a 12.5 percent exploitation rate is applied to the estimated mature male abundance of 10.18 million crab.


The 2016-2017 total allowable catch did not discount a higher than average number of discarded legal males observed in the past season, but ADF&G said discards of legal sized male red king crab in the 2016-2017 season would be closely monitored and could result in a lower catch allocation for next year.