On October 21, Governor Mike Dunleavy wrote to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, requesting she declares a fishery disaster determination for the 2022/23 Bristol Bay red king crab and Bering Sea snow crab fisheries. Additionally, Governor Dunleavy requested that the secretary expedites a disaster determination for the 2021/22 Bristol Bay red king crab fishery.
“Available information indicates the decline for both crab stocks resulted from natural causes linked to warming ocean temperatures. We listened to the stakeholders and their need for economic relief in the crab industry and Alaska’s affected communities. We are working swiftly to ensure the Secretary of Commerce considers our request,” said Governor Dunleavy. “I have requested that Secretary Raimondo declares a fishery disaster for both Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea and expedites the decision for the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery.”
“The decision to close snow and red king crab fishing this year was difficult understanding the impact the closure would have on fishermen and communities,” said Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. “However, given the lack of meaningful recruitment, my decision was to err on the side on conservation and sustainability. We must now focus on providing disaster relief to fishermen and communities and on developing rebuilding plans for these stocks that involve the fishing industry.”