The closure of Alaska's most lucrative crab fisheries is causing so much economic devastation that those in the industry are asking the state's governor for $200 million (€205 million) in relief aid.
"This year, all three of the major Bering Sea crab fisheries for red king, snow (opilio), and tanner (bairdi) crab are either closed or reduced, some significantly and unexpectedly," Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers Executive Director Jamie Goen said in a letter sent to Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy on Tuesday. "This is a devastating hit to the crab industry and communities that rely on it."
Combined, these fisheries total a loss in ex-vessel value of approximately $202 million, she added.
The closures mark the first time ever the Bering Sea snow crab fishery was closed and the second consecutive year the lucrative Bristol Bay red king crab season was shutdown.
The snow crab fishery's average annual harvest value is over $100 million (€102 million), according to the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers.
In 2019, the Norton Sound red king crab fishery received $1.4 million (€1.4 million) in disaster aid.