By Mike Moyer
June 04, 2010
Also restrictions were in place to prevent the overfishing of crab as a consequence of year round exploitation by the commercial fleet in year's past. Totes of rejected crab used to be dumped into the narrows and could be seen floating in front of the processing plants because of soft shell or minimal meat volume. It took a change in the seasons creating a winter only fishery to control this overfishing and years to bring back the stocks to sustainable levels.
All fisheries are subject to controls in order to maintain a sustained yield in Alaska and while I am a supporter of commercial fishing I am also an Alaskan and the regular guy always comes first in this state. We do not have huge crab grounds in the Ketchikan area to support continuous fishing of crab and the ensuing mortality from repeat handling by commercial crabbers. There are small pockets of crab in bays and inlets that will be fished out quickly when laced with commercial pots every day year in and year out.
Using the argument that Grandpa
needs crab on his breakfast eggs to justify over harvesting this
fishery is not valid. Rather if Grandpa would like some crab
on his eggs he should ask his grandson to go set a pot and leave
the commercial boats to fish during the winter months when the
crab can handle the pressure better.
Received June 04, 2010 - Published June 04, 2010
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