PETERSBURG-AK A new method for estimating red king crab numbers has yielded some encouraging news for Southeast Alaska fishermen. The region’s commercial red crab harvest hasn’t opened since 2005 because the state’s annual catch survey has shown low crab numbers. Crabbers have long disputed the assessment method and its results. Over the past year and a half, the department’s scientists have worked with the commercial fleet to try a different approach and so far, it’s resulted in much higher estimates for part of Southeast. That study is expected to continue this year. In the meantime, the department plans to make adjustments with the findings it has so far.
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