National Fisherman


The Norton Sound winter commercial red king crab fishery broke records this winter.

Crabbers took 22,639 Norton Sound red king crabs through the ice, or about 62,179 pounds, more than double the prior record of 9,625 crabs in 1977, or the 2011-12 winter season, when 9,157 crabs were caught.

Fishermen received an average of $6.74 per pound, up from $6.47 in 2011-12.

The Norton Sound red king crab winter commercial fishery is prosecuted through the ice. Fishermen usually snowmachine out onto the Bering Sea, drill through the ice, and set their pots. Then they cover them with insulated covers and check them every few days, cleaning slush out of the hole each time they do so.

“It’s a lot of toil,” said Robin Thomas, who has participated in the commercial Norton Sound red king crab fishery since it opened in 1977, although not every year.

Read the full story at Alaska Journal of Commerce>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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