Brisk Bering snow crab season nears quota

The Bering Sea snow crab fishery is moving right along.
 
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska reported 46 vessels registered on Monday, and 78 percent of the 54 million pound quota harvested.
 
Unalaska city natural resources analyst Frank Kelty said the fleet landed 5 million pounds last week. “It’s going pretty quick. If they have a couple more weeks like that, it will be over with,” Kelty said.
 
Processors posted an opening price of $2.15 per pound paid to fishermen, similar to last year, Kelty said.
 
Based on the opening price, which could increase with postseason bonuses based on sales, Kelty estimated the fishery’s value at $116 million paid to fishermen for the little opilio snow crab.
 
The season got off to an earlier start late last year, with boats fishing in the northern region and delivering to processors in St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands to beat the ice, which has plagued the fleet in past years. But this year, ice has not been a problem and on Monday was reported still north of the crab grounds.
 
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