NOAA Follows Fishery Council, Rejects Emergency Action to Bar Fishing in Crab Protection Area

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has rejected a petition from crab fishers to bar all commercial fishing for six months in an area of the Bering Sea designated as a special protective zone for red king crab, which have suffered a population crash.

The decision announced Friday by NOAA Fisheries confirms action in December by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The council rejected the emergency request, which was made by the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, a harvester group.

In a statement, NOAA Fisheries said the available information did not support the requested emergency action to bar all fishing in the square-shaped territory in outer Bristol Bay known as the Red King Crab Savings Area.

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