Fishermen petition for reopening of crab fishery

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2000

UNALASKA (AP) -- Bering Sea crab fishermen want the snow crab fishery reopened.

The fishery closed April 8.

The fishermen say the fast pace of the 7-day fishery points to healthy stocks. They contend a summer trawl survey that indicated weak stocks was flawed.

That survey resulted in a harvest quota of 26.4 million pounds. A final tally will likely put the harvest at about 30 million pounds.

The fishermen think they could harvest another 50 million pounds without harming the resource.

They have petitioned U.S. Secretary of Commerce William Daley to reopen the fishery.

Most crab is caught in federally-controlled waters, but managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game under a cooperative management plan. The petition was signed by crab boat owner Gary Painter, with the support of 23 other crab vessels.

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