KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

TANNER CRAB

Zoë Sobel/KUCB

Unalaska is America’s fish capital. More seafood is hauled into Dutch Harbor than anywhere in the country, but for residents it’s not easy to find fresh fish unless they catch it themselves.

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.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

There will be no commercial tanner crab fishery in the Bering Sea this season.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries made the decision last week after a last-ditch attempt to allow a limited harvest failed in a split 3-3 vote.

Unalaska Mayor Frank Kelty attended the board meeting in Kodiak, where members considered a proposal that would have let crabbers harvest 10 percent of mature male bairdi in the western district.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

Unalaska's Fish and Game Advisory Committee will support a proposal to allow a limited tanner crab fishery in the Bering Sea this season.

The committee endorsed the proposal at a meeting Wednesday night, but only after a close 6-4 vote.

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