Kodiak’s biggest tanner crab fishery in nearly 40 years is set to open in Alaska on Sunday, but the fleet is standing down. Fishers say they will not go fishing for the prices offered by local canneries, reports Alaska Public Media.
Processors in Kodiak offered $2.50 per pound for tanners when negotiations started earlier this month.
Last year, fishers were paid a record of more than $8 per pound. The tanner crab fishery was closed in 2021, but back in 2020, prices still were more than $4.
This year’s harvest levels for the Kodiak fishery are the biggest they have been since 1986, at 5.8 million pounds. That is more than five times the size of last year’s quota. Combined with the fisheries in Chignik and the South Peninsula, 7.3 million pounds total of tanners are up for grabs in the Westward Region.
Last year, the Alaska state Department of Fish and Game estimates the Kodiak region alone was worth over $10.1 million.
The big quota this year also means more boats are participating. Last year, 87 vessels fished for tanners. This year, 109 were registered as of Friday morning.
The entire fleet – including fishers in Chignik and the South District – is holding out until local processors offer better prices.