• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 57s

Shutdown could hit crabbers hard

By Heather Hintze 6:50 PM October 15, 2013

With NOAA furloughed, fishermen can't get their crabbing permits

ANCHORAGE – The government shutdown could have a disastrous impact on Alaska’s crabbing season that opens Tuesday.

Workers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are furloughed, which means even though fishermen have already paid for their special permits for the Bering Sea, they won’t get them before the season starts.

Mark Gleason, the executive director of Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers said about 80 boats in Dutch Harbor are impacted. Each spends more than $1,000 a day to keep up operations in case the permits go through.

“Boats are incurring costs the longer they stayed tied up but they have significant bills they’ve accrued in the off season. There’s a lot of money out of pocket right now and not a lot coming in,” Gleason said.

This time last year, the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” documented the start of crabbing season, which brought in a total of about $400 million. Captain Elliott Neese and his crew on the Saga should be heading to sea right now. Instead, they’re stuck at port.

“I just bought my boat last year. I’ve got six guys that are waiting to get paid. They’ve got house payments and wives and children they need to take care of just like I do. My bank account is definitely getting low, ” Neese said.

The delay of the season will likely have a trickle down effect. At 10th & M Seafoods in Anchorage, the shelves are stocked with crab from Norway, Russia and some frozen from Alaska’s season last year.

Owner Skip Winfree said if he doesn’t get shipments of crab by mid-November, he won’t be able to send it out to meet the holiday demand.

“We’ll go through 50,000 to 80,000 pounds during the season for that. Without it that’s much more than a million dollars in revenue we’ll lose,” Winfree said.

He said the longer the government stays closed, the bigger the financial hit.

“When it comes down to us and our crab season, you’ve hit us in the pocket books and it’s a big, big loss,” Winfree said.

The looming deadline is November 12. That’s when fishermen have to have their catches to processors in order to get them out for the holidays, especially to Asia.

Gleason said if they miss that deadline, the price they get could drop by about 25 percent, which could be up to a $100 million dollar blow to the industry.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Moose’s Tooth named among TripAdvisor’s top pizza places

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 29, 10:35

    ANCHORAGE – Moose’s Tooth’s popularity isn’t a secret to locals, and now the Anchorage restaurant is getting some national recognition. Moose’s Tooth ranked third in TripAdvisor’s top-10 U.S. pizza restaurants. The results were based on millions of TripAdvisor travelers’ reviews and opinions, with more weight given to reviews written in the past year, according to a […]

  • News

    Activists rappel off Oregon bridge to stop Shell icebreaker

    by Associated Press on Jul 29, 10:09

    More than a dozen activists rappelled off the St. Johns Bridge in an effort to stop a Shell Oil Arctic icebreaker from leaving Portland. Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard says the protesters dangling off the bridge early Wednesday have enough water and food to last for days. The Royal Dutch Shell PLC icebreaker Fennica […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, July 29

    by KTVA Weather on Jul 29, 9:13

    Anchorage Mostly cloudy with some sunbreaks and scattered showers. Highs in the upper 60s. Winds S 5-10 in the metro, SE 15-25 along Turnagain Arm. Kenai and Prince William Sound Mostly cloudy with some sunbreaks and scattered rain showers. Highs mostly in the 60s. Southeast Alaska Cloudy with rain showers. Highs mostly in the 50s. […]

  • Crime

    Wrangell doctor found guilty in child pornography case

    by Associated Press on Jul 29, 8:12

    A former Wrangell doctor has been found guilty of distributing and receiving child pornography. KTOO-FM reports (http://bit.ly/1glnEnj) that after an hour and a half of deliberations a U.S. District Court jury found Greg Salard guilty on the two charges Tuesday. A third, lesser charge for possession was set aside since it was dependent on a […]

  • News

    University of Alaska names new president

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 29, 8:05

    The University of Alaska has a new president. The UA Board of Regents appointed Dr. James Johnsen as the 14th president of the university system, according to an announcement made Tuesday. The vote was unanimous with all regents participating. Johnsen is a former UA executive and currently servers as the vice president of human resources at […]

  • News

    Cathay Pacific airliner makes emergency landing in Aleutians

    by Associated Press on Jul 29, 7:29

    A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 bound from Hong Kong to Los Angeles International Airport has diverted to a U.S. air base in the Aleutian Islands after smoke was detected on the aircraft. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says Flight 884 declared an emergency and landed early Wednesday morning at Eareckson Air Station in Shemya, […]

  • Crime

    Michigan man convicted on 37 charges relating to fake charities, fraud and identity theft

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 28, 22:45

    A Michigan man has been convicted of using fake charitable organizations in an Alaska fraud and identity theft case. On Monday, 46-year-old Alan Michael Bartlett, of Owosso, Mich., was convicted of two counts of mail fraud, 20 counts of bank fraud, five counts of wire fraud, five counts of false statements to the U.S. Postal […]

  • Sports

    Alaska athlete takes on 18-hole course at Special Olympics World Games

    by Megan Mazurek on Jul 28, 21:43

    A Palmer golfer played his personal best in a round of golf Tuesday at the Special Olympics World Games. Garrett Stortz, 24, played 8 over par on the Harding Course at Griffith Park. After the first two [holes] I started hitting it and settling down,” Stortz said. “I was making some puts and hitting the […]