Tanner crab commissioner’s permit fishery opens March 1

A commissioner’s permit Tanner crab fishery is set to open March 1 in the eastern and western districts of Prince William Sound.

The registration deadline for this super-exclusive registration area is 5 p.m. on Feb. 18. A valid 2021 Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission interim-use permit card for Prince William Sound Tanner crab is required.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials said the fishery would remain open until March 31 unless closed earlier by emergency order. 

During the fishery, a maximum of 25 Tanner crab pots may be operated by each vessel with required identification pot tags. Log sheets must be completed for each pot set. Permit holders must check in with ADF&G Homer staff prior to each fishing trip and accommodate an ADF&G onboard observer upon request.

Statistical Area 486005, a relatively small area, will be closed this season to commercial fishing, ADF&G officials said. Between the 2018 and 2020 seasons, the harvest decreased there by 76 percent with the catch per unit effort decreasing 56 percent, from nearly 14 crab per pot in 2018 to approximately six crab per pot in 2020.

Further information regarding this fishery is available from Jan Rumble at 907-321-1569, Elisa Russ at 907-399-1721 of the ADF&G Homer office, at 907-235-8191.  Commissioner’s permits may also be completed in person at ADF&G offices in Cordova, Homer and Anchorage.