Alaska suspends crab fishing
Alaska suspends all snow crab and king crab fishing this year. The authorities’ decision comes after a sharp decline in crabs in the Barents Sea and Bristol Bay respectively.
It is the first time ever that snow crab fishing has been suspended; for the king crabs, it is the second autumn in a row that they have been protected.
According to the American environmental authority EPA, the stock has decreased, but the crabs, like halibut among others, have moved north since the 1980s. The snow crab population “collapsed” according to the Anchorage Daily News (ADN) in 2019 after the Barents Sea warmed and last year’s catch of 2.5 tonnes was the lowest in 40 years.
The decision is a big blow to the fishing industry in the state, in 2016 the snow crab fishery generated revenue equivalent to three billion kroner.
I’m struggling for words here, it’s so unimaginable, Jamie Goen, president of the Alaska Crab Fishermen’s Association told ADN, warning that many fishermen will be forced to choose between bankruptcy and selling boats to survive financially.