By Lloyd Gossman
May 20, 2010
Please do not participate in the sale or purchase of Dungeness Crab caught by Commercial fisherman during the summer in Southeast Alaska. This fishery is scheduled to open June 15th, 2010.
The Summer Commercial Dungeness crab fishery is conducted when the Dungeness are Soft-Shelled and molting. Millions of Dungeness are wasted and the fishery deprives Alaskan's reasonable opportunity for both personal use and subsistence use. Many areas in Southeast Alaska do not have high numbers of Dungeness and these areas could be depleted forever.
Alaska mandates maximum use of its natural resources, and harvesting by sustained yield methods. The Summer Commercial Dungeness fishery in Southeast Alaska does not provide for either.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game readily admits it is biologically unsound to harvest Dungeness in the summer; but then go on to state the yield is good. Because we have a bountiful resource in our Dungeness does not mean we can waste them.
In and around the Kasaan area, (District 2 of Management area A) the Organized Village of Kasaan had to sue the State to stop the Summer Commercial Dungeness Fishery. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough, The City of Ketchikan, The Organized Village of Saxman, the Ketchikan Indian Community, the Ketchikan ADF & G Advisory Committee and other organizations remain on record as being against the District one Summer Commercial Dungeness Crab fishery.
Ketchikan area crab fishermen are against this summer commercial fishery and in the past, local Ketchikan processors asked that the fishery be halted due to the waste.
The summer commercial fishery described above was closed for 25 years in the Ketchikan Area. Fishing commercial Dungeness in the winter allowed for a higher quality product and did not interfere with the Dungeness reproduction cycle. The winter fishery also minimized the waste and allowed there to be enough crab for all users. The Board of Fish justified the recent re-opening of the summer commercial Dungeness fishery in order to gather data. They did not gather data last summer, and as of this time, no attempt has been made to put observers on the vessels to gather data this year. This fishery is a black mark for all commercial fishermen, and certainly a black mark for the Alaska Board of Fish. They have lost the Public trust.
I am urging all Alaskan's to not participate in the sale or purchase of any Dungeness crab taken during the Summer Commercial Dungeness Crab season. We need to stand up for what is right and stop this wasteful fishery.
Received May 20, 2010 - Published May 20, 2010
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