Snow crab off to an early start with catch boosts and ice encroaching


The Bering Sea snow crab fishery is picking up steam earlier than usual as the fleet scrambles to get the catch before rapidly encroaching sea ice shuts them down. About 25 boats are out on the water so far, soon to be joined by 60 or so more as the forecast calls for continued frigid weather and high winds.

Although the fishery opens by regulation October 15, most crabbers usually wait until mid-January to begin dropping pots. The snow crab catch was boosted 64% this season to nearly 80 million pounds. Boats left without settling on a price, and the increased supply is having a downwa...

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