October 24, 2013
The small boat fleet got some bad, but not unexpected news that the Bairdi tanner crab fisheries in Kodiak, Chignik and the Alaska Peninsula will be closed for the 2014 season.
The fisheries have been on a boom-and-bust cycle for years, with only two of the six Kodiak areas open last season, one of the two South Peninsula areas fishing, and Chignik closed completely.
The quota in Kodiak last season was 660,000 pounds, down from 950,000 pounds in 2012 and 1.47 million pounds in 2011.
The Chignik district saw a bump in the 2012 quota, set at 700,000 pounds, up from 600,000 pounds in 2011.
Further west, in the South Peninsula district, only the eastern district was open, with a quota of 230,000 pounds, a dramatic drop from previous years, with both the eastern and western district fishing a combined quota of 1.62 million pounds in 2012 and 2.3 million pounds in 2011.
Those quotas were driven by a year class that began showing up in trawl surveys in 2005 and 2006, which recruited into the fishery all at the same time, beginning in 2010.