Red King Crab Fisheries Set to Open This Weekend, One Buyer Available for Norton Sound Crabbers

ADF&G observer Anneliese Moll measures the carapace of an eastern Norton Sound red king crab. Photo: Jenn Ruckel, KNOM.

Two regional red king crab fisheries are set to open at the end of this week for the winter season.

The Norton Sound winter commercial red king crab fishery as well as the Community Development Quota (CDQ) fishery open at noon on March 3rd. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, interested crabbers must have stopped subsistence crabbing by February 17th, two weeks before opening day, in order to participate.

This season’s guideline harvest for the winter commercial red king crab fishery is more than 25,000 lbs. (25,553) whereas the CDQ red king crab fishery harvest level is just under 24,000 (23,956).

Registered permit holders who do not have a catcher-seller permit can only sell crab to one buyer, Norton Sound Seafood Products (NSSP). According to a statement from ADF&G, the buyer, NSSP, is only paying for crabs that are 5 inches or greater in size and have all their legs and claws.

The legal size to keep male red king crabs is 4 and ¾ inches. Contact Nome’s Fish and Game Office at 443-5167 with any questions about the fishery.