‘Turns Out Rock Bottom Has a Basement’: Crabbing Closure Adds to Struggles of Washington Seafood Industry

SEATTLE — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Friday it will reopen the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery, but the Bering Sea snow crab fishery will remain closed. It adds to the economic challenges some businesses have been facing. 

“You’re always gonna see highs and lows as a commercial fisherman,” crabbing captain Casey McManus said. “Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, feast or famine. But lately, the highs are a lot lower and the lows are even lower than that. Turns out rock bottom has a basement.”

McManus says reduced allowable catches and fishery closures come on top of other economic challenges. Inflation has raised the cost of groceries, giving customers less freedom to spend on fresh seafood. The effects ripple to all kinds of businesses.

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