Dutch Harbor Update | The Hunt For The Deadliest Catch Continues In 2013


Captains and Crew are gathering back in Dutch Harbor, Alaska for the opilio, “snow crab” season, which generally starts up after the new year.  The 25 percent cut in total quota should speed up the season.  Last year, boats  were challenged  by floating ice, creating the longest snow crab season in history.  Arctic Ice may play a huge factor in this season’s harvest, too.  The Arctic huge melt equals tons more floating ice in the southern fishing grounds.  Stay tuned for more updates as this season on the Bering Sea continues…

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January will also mark the start of the Bering Sea snow crab and Kodiak tanner crab fisheries.

The 2013 total allowable catch, or TAC, for Bering Sea snow crab was set at 66.35 million pounds, a 25 percent cut compared to nearly 89 million pounds in 2012.

The snow crab harvest cut comes from a decrease in the mature male biomass (females may not be retained), and a change in the stock’s age composition. The crab are much older than in the past — about 60 percent of the mature male biomass is old shell crab — compared to about 37 percent last year.

Fishing quota holders will be able to harvest 59.7 million pounds, while community development quota programs will take the remaining 6.6 million pounds.

Kodiak tanner crab will be harvested from the eastside and southeast sections, for a total of 660,000 pounds.

via Mixed outlook for fish stocks, new regs | Peninsula Clarion.

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Dutch Harbor Update | King Crab Season Wraps Up


This year’s king crab quota was swiftly harvested this season.  The quota was slightly less than last season’s 7.85 millions pounds.  Excellent quality of the king crab could produce near record high prices.  Snow crab season, which starts in January, has the potential to be just as harsh as last season’s icy nightmare. Here are some recent tweets from the crabbing fleet.  Here’s a LIVE view from the Haystack!

 

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[tweet https://twitter.com/crabwizard/status/265899030301777920] [tweet https://twitter.com/captwildbill/status/266572160909320193] [tweet https://twitter.com/fvcorneliamarie/status/263753606459695104] [tweet https://twitter.com/crabwizard/status/263297469906038785]

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The Bristol Bay red king crab season opened on Oct. 15, and on Tuesday, the season was almost over. Just 11 boats were still crabbing, and 52 had taken their red king quota, according to Fish and Game, reporting a harvest of 7.36 million pounds taken from the season’s quota of 7.85 million pounds, almost the same as last year.

In the St. Matthews blue king crab fishery on Tuesday, 679,000 pounds were harvested from a quota of 1.63 million pounds, with 16 vessels still registered, while one had finished fishing.

Bering Sea snow crab is the next big shellfish harvest, which typically starts in January, with a substantially reduced quota of around 66 million pounds, down from 89 million last year.

Jacobsen said weather forecasts indicated perhaps a repeat of last year for ice obstructing the fishing grounds, and denting boat hulls. Some boats are getting better prepared by reinforcing their bows with more steel, Jacobsen said.

via Good cluster luck for crabbers – The Bristol Bay Times.

via Red King Crab Season Comes to a Close.

Dutch Harbor Update | King Crab Pots Splash In The Bering Sea


The Bering Sea King Crab Fishery starts at high noon this Monday on the 15th of October. Actually, Snow crab,  Blue crab and King crab open at the same time this season. The blue crab quota is slightly smaller than last year, so many captains will have to decide which species to harvest first. The deadline for snow crab harvesting extends way into May.  King crab ends in Feburary, which is why these species are typically fished first.  Overall, 118 vessels will be participating  in this season’s fishery.  Two of those vessels will be new to the Deadliest Catch. Wild Bill from the F/V Kodiak will be operating the F/V Cape Caution this year and Elliot Neese from the F/V Rambling Rose purchased the F/V Saga. The Saga actually appeared in the first season of Deadliest Catch, so she’s no rookie to the Bering Sea.   The weather is always the main factor in this dangerous fishery.   NOAA states that Arctic Ice levels are at a record low this year.  However, last season the Bering Sea froze solid for the first time since the 70’s.  The current forecast calls for 30 kt. Winds and 12 foot seas, with mixed rain. Sounds like great crabbing weather! So, fresh King Crab will be  hitting the stores by the end of the week.  Order now in time for the holidays!  Check out the awesome crabbing footage supplied by KC Dochtermann from last years opilio fishery. I also included some tweets from the crabbing fleet. Good luck to all of the captains and crew participating in this year’s fishery!  Stay Frosty!

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Dutch Harbor Update | Deadliest Catch Rumor Roundup


Another crab season on the Bering Sea is just around the corner. The actual forecast is about 19,000 metric tons of king crab, which is better than last year’s quota at 15,00 metric tons. This is still a small harvest for King Crab, but the price should hold. The quota for Oplio crab, also known as, Snow crab, has gone down this year by almost 30 percent. However, demand for snow crab has grown over the last few years as well, which means that the price is good. These are only preliminary estimates and the official total will be out by the end of october.

Here’s a little example of the Deadliest TwitterFeed.  It appears that Elliot is not returning to the Ramblin Rose and he is shopping for a boat.  Will he be on season 10?  The rest of the guys are prepping the boats for the upcoming season.  Check out the tweets below to catch up.  Filming will begin this fall and the next season will air in the spring.  Let’s hope the ice isn’t as bad as last year.








Here’s a crazy video that will give you a laugh.  Norwegians!   What can I say?

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Dutch Harbor Update | Summer Snow Crabbing?


The opilio season just won’t end this year.  The Deadliest Catch is turning out to be the Longest Catch.  ADFG has just announced the second extension this season, which allows the boats to fish until June 15th.  That’s right!  They are winter crabbing in the summertime.  Only a quarter of the quota is left, so it should be over soon.  Its still snowing in St. Paul and the ice pack is still in the harbor according  to the Time Bandit’s Twit Pic. This is definitely one crab season that few fishermen will forget.  I embedded some other twitter posts to give you an idea of who is still fishing.  The Time Bandit is still at it and it sounds like the Northwestern got more quota.  The season is now scheduled to end June 15th.  I wonder how all of this will affect the summer salmon tender season for most of these boats?

It’s already been a long snow crab season, but it’s about to be longer. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Monday that the season will be extended by two weeks in some areas, moving the overall end date to mid-June.

Heavy ice cover in the Bering Sea periodically forced fishermen off the grounds this winter and almost a quarter of the allowable harvest remains uncaught. The unprecedented move by Fish and Game should give crabbers time to bring in the remaining 20 million pounds.

The fishery was scheduled to close on May 31, but with the extension, areas west of 171 degrees will be open through June 15.

via Ice Forces Snow Crab Season Extension.

Dutch Harbor Update | Snow Crab Extension Due to Record Breaking Ice Pack


For the first time ever, the snow crab fishery will be extended.  The grueling season is far from over for many boats.  Almost 1/4 of the 88.9 million pound quota still needs to be caught and the ice still covers most of the fishing grounds. Currently, the crab fishery is extended until May 31st. Even the Togiak herring fishery is off to a late start because of the record breaking sea ice this year.

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“Record sea ice significantly reduced available fishing grounds throughout a large portion of the snow crab season, and as a result, nearly 25 percent of the snow-crab total allowable catch has not been harvested,” according to Tuesday’s news release from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska. Fish and Game granted a partial extension of the eastern subdistrict between 171 and 173 degrees west longitude until May 31. The area was originally set to close May 15. All areas are now scheduled to close May 31, but ADF&G officials in Unalaska, Kodiak and Juneau are pondering whether to let the fishermen keep dropping pots into the water in June, said biologist Britta Baechler in Unalaska. On Monday, she said 57 boats were still registered, and 21 had finished fishing. As of Monday, 67.7 million pounds were harvested, she said. The season’s quota is about 88 million pounds. “Pretty much anybody involved in the industry is struggling this season,” Baechler said. But Al Mendoza, crab manager at Unisea in Unalaska agreed, said the extension “will definitely help. “There’s a lot of frustrated fishermen. It’s been a long winter season for the fishermen and processors, but everybody’s holding strong and trying to get through it,” Mendoza said. via ADF&G extends snow crab season – The Dutch Harbor Fisherman.

Dutch Harbor Update | When Hell Freezes Over, Again!


It’s been a record year for ice in the Bering Sea. The crab fishery may even need a time extension. Hell, they even had to cancel CatchCon. Mother nature has won the battle this season, only half of the harvestable quota has been taken. Fear not, though! Deadliest Catch will be returning April 10th to the Discovery Channel. I’ve included some photos from Captain Elliot Neese’s twitterfeed and even promo for the upcoming season.  Read on after the clip to hear all the latest details from The Cordova Times.

Ice conditions that slowed the Bering Sea snow crab fishery, then eased up, were taking their toll again in early March as the ice moved back in, prompting boats that continued to fish to pull their pots when making deliveries to processors.

Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at Dutch Harbor said that as of March 7 the fleet had harvested about 44 million pounds of the 88.9 million pounds allotted for snow crab harvests this season. Last year the fleet had a quota of 54.2 million pounds.

The ice came in to the area of the St. Paul Harbor in February, then receded and fishing activity was going strong through the last week of February, when the ice came back in again and fishermen started pulling their gear, state biologists at Dutch Harbor said.

Of the 61 vessels registered, a dozen had pulled their pots and were not fishing at all because of the ice edge as of March 7, while others were pulling their pots to make deliveries to processors and then resetting them, biologists said.

The crab is being purchased by Trident Seafoods at St. Paul and Alyeska Seafoods, Bering Fisheries, Icicle Seafoods, Unisea and Westward Seafoods at Dutch Harbor.

Prices were reportedly at about $1.88 a pound early in the fishery.

State fisheries officials also have received requests to extend the time limit on the fishery because of ice issues, but said they are still hoping the harvest can be completed within the allotted time. The eastern sub-district of the snow crab fishery runs through May 15, and the western sub-district through May 30.

via Ice pack continues to slow snow crab fishery – The Cordova Times.

Its Time For Southeast Alaskan Tanner and Golden King Crab


After a bit of a winter break, fishing vessels are about to enter the waters of southeast Alaska again.  The tanner and golden king crab fisheries are usually the start the the year for many fishermen.  So, good luck to all the guys out there!  I can’t wait to get my hands on some fresh king crab