The Norton Sound King Crab Fishery existed for years as subsistence, then they started selling, and locals petitioned the Board of Fish to open a commercial fishery. With a commercial fishery, 60-foot to 200-foot crabbers started coming in and refused to buy from small-sale local fishers. The crab population had been reduced to a quarter of its size. Eventually, regulations were changed and a pot limit was imposed.
The fishery was restricted to small boats in 1993 and designated a super exclusive fishery in 1994, which means that a vessel registered for the Norton Sound king crab fishery cannot participate in any other king crab fishery during that year.
Since 1995, Norton Sound Seafood Products runs a financially sustainable fishery purchasing fish only from small local boats and markets itself as a “small specialty store as compared to the mega-supermarket.”
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