March 13, 2014 | Vol. 40, No. 11

Tanner Crab fishery sees increased harvest, price

This year’s Tanner Crab season saw the highest harvest since the 2000/2001 season.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Lead Crab Biologist Joe Stratman said Tanner Crab prices and the overall harvest value were also up from last year.

This season’s total harvest value was $3.1 million, with an average of $2.53 per pound compared to last year’s $2.8 million harvest value and $2.28 per pound.

Preliminary estimates show this season’s Tanner fishery in Registration Area A is 1.25 million pounds with 80 permit holders.

“This harvest just slightly exceeded last season’s harvest by 12,000 pounds, and is the largest Tanner harvest in the last thirteen seasons,” Stratman said.

District 11 saw the largest harvest where 600,000 pounds were yielded from 25 permit holders from areas including Seymour Canal, Snettisham, Holkham Bay and the backside of Douglas Island.

District 10, which includes Thomas Bay, Port Houghton, Pybus Bay and Gambier Bay yielded the least amount of harvest—130,000 pounds.

Seven percent of the overall harvest contained bitter crab—a parasite that infects Tanner Crab and gives them a bitter taste— the same as last season.

“By district, bitter crab was by far the largest problem in District 15, where 30 percent of the harvest was graded as bitter,” Stratman said.

This season’s Tanner fishery opened for six days in the core areas and eleven days in the non-core areas. The start date was delayed by two 24-hour periods due to adverse weather

conditions.

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