UALASKA (AP) -- Processors around the Aleutians East Borough are reporting a dramatic dip in revenues from the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery this year.
They say the harvest value was less than half of what is was just a year ago.
According to borough figures, the harvest value fell to $12.7 million. That compares with $26 million a year ago.
Borough tax revenues from the fishery fell from more than $530,000 to $250,000. The borough uses a 2 percent fish tax to pay for running schools, government services and capital improvements.
The decline is blamed on several factors. The 1999 price for red kings was boosted to $6.20 a pound, largely because of anticipated demand for millennium New Year's celebrations. The price dipped back down to $4.80 a pound this year.
A declining quota also contributed to lower revenues. Crabbers went from 11.1 million pounds caught in 1999 to 8.1 million pounds harvested this year.
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