CATCH of the SEASON
Catch of the Season & Kodiak Tanner Crab Update
Thanks to your support of local fishermen, sustainable fisheries and your love of Tanner crab,Catch of the Season has grown into a successful social enterprise over the past three years.
Unfortunately, as some of you may have already heard, there will not be a Kodiak Tanner crab fishery this year. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the results of their annual survey of Tanner populations this fall. The survey showed that the abundance of male Tanner crab is not high enough to meet the threshold required to open the fishery. You can read more about the details of the decision and survey here. On the positive side, the survey also showed a high number of juvenile Tanner crab, so we are hopeful that these young crab will grow up to be strong, healthy, and ready to be harvested and eaten by you in the future!
AMCC is disappointed about what the closure means for local fishermen who depend on this winter fishery. Yet, we're proud that Alaska is committed to science-based catch limits, strong research, and monitoring to support management decisions, including closures when crab population levels are too low to support a commercial fishery.
Just as fishermen endure challenges and adapt, AMCC is working to diversify our Catch of the Season program. In 2014, we are aiming to offer consumers the chance to purchase jig-caught cod and rockfish, which like Kodiak Tanner crab, will be caught by Alaskans for Alaskans. We are also working to develop new partnerships in other parts of the state and with more community-based fishermen to bring you other seafood favorites. The process takes time to establish business relationships with participating fishermen and processors and we want to ensure that products offered through Catch of the Season meet the highest quality conservation and community standards. We ask for your patience as we grow and diversify the program.
In the meantime, AMCC will continue to work closely with local Kodiak fishermen at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to protect Tanner crab stocks around Kodiak Island. We know that bottom trawling damages crab habitat and results in mortality of crab caught as bycatch. What we don't know his how much crab is actually taken as bycatch in the waters surrounding Kodiak. AMCC and Kodiak crab fishermen agree that when the crab population is low, the fishery should be closed. Yet, we are concerned with the continued lack of data on crab bycatch in bottom trawl fisheries. AMCC and fishing partners will continue to advocate for more accurate accounting of crab bycatch around Kodiak Island through increased observer coverage.
While the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has taken important first steps to reduce bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska, much more remains to be done. We hope that Alaskans who value the health of our fisheries and coastal communities will make their concerns known to both the Governor's office and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Strong and sustainable fisheries depend on robust data.
Please stay tuned to these emails from AMCC and to our website for information on the upcoming opportunities to purchase new seafood products through Catch of the Season. You can also sign up for AMCC's regular e-news on our website, and stay in touch with us via Facebook.
Feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com if you have any feedback or thoughts. We hope that your plates will still be full of Alaskan seafood in 2014!
Support Conservation & Local Fishermen with our Community Supported Fishery!
It is rare indeed that supporting a cause you believe in not only makes you feel good, it actually tastes good. The Alaska Marine Conservation Council's CATCH of the SEASON does just that.
AMCC conducts the yearly Community Supported Fishery (CSF) that provides the opportunity to purchase Kodiak Tanner crab! This unique effort aims to link seafood consumers directly to our network of conservation minded, independent family fishermen.
AMCC offers a choice of 10 or 25 lb boxes of Tanner crab to residents of the Anchorage area, Kodiak and Homer. The Kodiak Tanner crab fishery occurs only once a year during a short (often less than a week) season in January. We begin selling boxes of crab in December.
We are happy to report that our third year of Catch of the Season in 2013 was a tremendous success! Over 250 households, seven restaurants, and several lodges purchased crab through the program. Thank you to everyone who helped support the program this year!
Make sure to sign up for our enews if you want to receive updates about the program for next year.
The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is the only organization working statewide to protect the integrity of Alaska's marine ecosystems and sustain community-based fishing opportunities. CATCH of the SEASON provides direct support to both ocean conservation efforts and to independent fishermen whose sustainable harvesting practices set a vital standard.
CATCH of the SEASON will help create unique markets for sustainable seafood harvested by community-based fishermen. It will also build important connections between our fishing communities and urban Alaska. CATCH of the SEASON wild seafood is harvested using selective fishing practices that minimize waste and impacts on sensitive marine habitats.