Commercial Tanner crab fisheries in the Kodiak, Chignik and South Peninsula districts will remain closed in 2021. These areas failed to meet abundance thresholds or minimum guideline harvest levels established in state regulations.
Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game made their decision based on analysis of 2020 Tanner crab surveys for these districts.
No decision has been made yet on future Tanner crab fisheries for Prince William Sound.
For Kodiak, regulations require that at least two of six sections meet or exceed minimum GHLs and have abundance sufficient to provide for a GHL of at least 100,000 pounds per section and at least 400,000 pounds total for the entire district. Both the southeast and southwest sections met necessary thresholds. Still the entire district will remain closed for the season due to the high exploitation rate on legal males needed to achieve the 400,000-pound district minimum GHL and the potential for high bycatch mortality on sublegal males that may recruit to legal size in a year or two.
Based on 2020 survey results, the Chignik district exceeded the abundance threshold of 200,000 pounds, but below the minimum GHL threshold.
In the South Peninsula District abundance must be sufficient to provide for a minimum GHL of 200,000 pounds of Tanner crab before either the eastern or western section may open.
Based on 2020 survey data, the eastern section was below both thresholds and the western section exceeded the threshold, but did not meet the minimum GHL threshold.