On Sunday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued an order closing the Southwest section of the Kodiak district, effective at noon. Today’s closure follows the closure of the Eastside section at 5:59 p.m. Friday. Inshore waters of the Southwest section closed last week.
Together, the Eastside and Southwest sections contained 650,000 pounds of the 950,000-pound guideline harvest limit for the Kodiak district. The remaining 300,000 pounds are in the Southeast section, which remains open.
Tanner crabs have been harvested commercially in the Kodiak district since 1967. The fishery peaked in the 1977-78 season, when more than 33 million pounds were harvested from the district.
Harvests declined through the 1980s until the fishery closed entirely by the mid-1990s.
The 2012 Tanner crab season opened at noon Jan. 16 after a 24-hour delay caused by gale-force winds. Sixty-three boats signed up to fish the Kodiak district, down from 79 in 2011. Part of the decline was due to the sections open to fishing — the Northeast section, closest to Kodiak, remained closed this year.
Last year’s harvest saw most crab taken in the first five days.
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