King And Tanner Crab Start on Friday in Southeast Alaska.

The 2011 Tanner and Brown King Crab seasons have been delayed until Friday, Feb. 18, at noon following two announcements by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

The season, set to begin on Tuesday, Feb. 15, was initially delayed 48 hours to allow strong northerly winds and freezing spray in the main crabbing grounds to subside. The season was delayed an additional 24 hours on Wednesday, bringing the opening to Friday when forecasts called for more of the same weather.

Joe Stratman, the ADF&G shellfish biologist who made the two announcements, said that the decision was made after consulting with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association meteorologists, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the King & Tanner Task Force, made up of permit holders and processors.

“I think most of the fleet is supportive,” Stratman said. “Although it hasn’t been uniformly popular.”

He said he has heard from some boats that had already reached crabbing grounds, and some large boat permit holders who would like to start fishing.

via Petersburg Pilot.

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