It's going to be a down year for crabbing in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands fisheries. Several fisheries will be closed, and others will have reduced harvest quotas. The unwelcome news from ADF&G last week was not unexpected after a summer survey reported in late August that crab stocks were down.
The National Marine Fisheries Service annual summer survey across the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands came back with the not good news that crab stocks were down. State fisheries biologist Miranda Westphal in Unalaska says this year's findings are keeping with a recent trend.
"Overall we’ve been seeing the last couple seasons of them surveying that crab stocks in general have been in decline," she said. "So this season certainly wasn’t a surprise for anyone either." (BSAI are federal fisheries managed by the state.)