Alaska’s declining crab population due to trawlers catches attention of lawmaker

Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola’s mounting frustration with the largely Seattle-based pollock industry’s decades-old issue of inadvertently damaging the state’s rapidly declining crab populations and critical habitat for many other species may result in legislation a move heralded by the scientific and conservation communities. Members of the scientific community concerned with sustainability and conservation are currently in a deadlock with industrial pollock trawler fleets and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council over federal fishery regulations, including pelagic, or “mid-water” trawling, which uses wide-mouthed nets designed to target schools of Bering Sea Alaskan pollock. The Alaska Marine Conservation Council released a report in February 2023 analyzing the trawlers’ impact on red king crab habitats following the 2022 closure of the Alaska snow crab fisheries, which is still ongoing, and a two-year closure for Bristol Bay king crab that ended in 2023, underscoring the devastating environmental and financial toll. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 19:17

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