Wow!  the weather has been really harsh this winter in Alaska.  Many places are set for record snowfall and the Bering Sea ice is at its worst in 30 years.  It looks like Deadliest Catch guys are scattering.  Make sure to click thru the article to get all the details of the fishery.  Here’s a peak into the Captains twitterverse, too.  Also, I’ve included a video of the F/V Rollo in action.  However, I doubt the footage is from this season.  Its still worth a view, though.  LIVE Dockcam!

Sea ice is making for slow going for the snow crabbers.

Their boats are tying up at Unalaska‘a new boat harbor and crews are flying home thanks to ice clogging the fishing grounds west of the Pribilof Islands.

“Not a lot of area left” for the snow crabbers, said biologist Heather Fitch of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska.

“It’s definitely going to slow things down,” agreed Unalaska Natural Resource Analyst Frank Kelty. “This is likely to be the worst season for ice in the Bering Sea in 30 years.”

Ice can break the lines connecting crab pots to buoys floating on the surface, pop the buoys loose, and actually relocate the pots, Fitch said, making them difficult for fishermen to find.

While 47 boats were registered, only 20 were still fishing with the rest standing down because of the ice, Fitch said. Several boats pulled up their pots with the help of other boats to avoid the ice, she added.

On Jan. 30 the total harvest was 19.6 million pounds of snow, or opilio, crab, with 18.6 million pounds of individual fishing quota crab, and another one million pounds from the community development quota allocation.

via Ice slows snow crab season – The Dutch Harbor Fisherman.


Written by JuneauTek

Commercial Fishing Along The Pacific West Coast

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