Monday, January 14, 2013

On your marks, get set, Tanner crab fish!

A Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) fishery is opening tomorrow off of Kodiak. Where, you might ask? Right here:

beautiful Kiliuda Bay

But wait, what's all that racket going on in Kiliuda Bay, home of the upcoming Tanner crab fishery?

Oh, this old thing?

That's right. Sitting in Kiliuda Bay is the Kulluk, Shell's oil rig that had run aground off Kodiak January 1st. The Kulluk is using Kiliuda Bay as safe harbor, but as such, any boats that will be participating in tomorrow's fishery will need to get special permission from the Coast Guard to do the same if the fishermen want to sleep in the bay. As for the fishery itself, the Kulluk should be out of the way as it is anchored in a nursery area for juvenile Tanner crabs and is therefore closed to the fishery.

Kiliuda Bay is enlarged showing the grey area closed to fishing

As long as the Kulluk stays "intact and upright" it shouldn't pose a threat to the crabs. And we can totally trust that nothing like that would happen, right? I mean, it was built in 1982 (and is older than me) but survived a season in the Arctic and didn't spill any oil during the grounding, so...

(waves crashing over the Kulluk when it was first grounded)

Sorry, all that craziness aside, the Tanner crab fishery is opening and you can place orders for pick up in Kodiak, Homer, or Anchorage! The Bering Sea Tanner fishery is closed for 2013 so this Kodiak fishery is a great opportunity for Alaskans (or at least those not privy to Southeast Tanners) to get some fresh C. bairdi meat and support local fishermen.

 a good Kodiak catch

Are you involved in the Tanner crab fishery or from Kodiak? Let me know how the fishery goes and what, if anything, you had to change to accommodate the Kulluk!

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