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.
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