KGMI News Reporting
By Mike Curtiss
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Now that the government is back in operation, 1st District Representative Suzan DelBene and other northwest lawmakers are urging federal officials to quickly allow fishermen in the Bering Sea to crab for Alaskan king crab.
Alaskan king crab brings in more than $400 million each year for the Northwest’s seafood industry.
John Roy with Bornstein Seafoods in Bellingham says the majority of Alaskan king crab is sold in Japan over the holiday season, when the demand is high.
He says if fishermen can’t get permission to start catching crab soon, millions of dollars could be lost.
The king crab season was scheduled to start October 15, but federal employees couldn’t issue permits due to the government shutdown.
Northwest lawmakers have sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker urging her to make the king crab permits a top priority.