According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), the waters of Cold Bay and Morzhovoi Bay in the western section of the South Peninsula District closed inside a line from Cape Pankof (54 degrees 39.37’ N. lat.; 163 degrees 03.49’ W. long.) to Bold Cape (55 degrees 01.26’ N. lat.; 162 degrees 15.59’ W. long.) to Tanner crab fishing at 5:59 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday, January 17, 2012). Catch reports indicated the harvest approached survey estimates of allowable Tanner crab surplus. Further harvest is not warranted to protect the long-term health of Tanner crab in this area.
All pots within the closed area must be unbaited and doors open at the time of the closure. Unbaited pots may be stored in the closed area in waters deeper than 25 fathoms for 72 hours. After 72 hours, all pots remaining in the closed area must be removed from the water or placed in waters shallower than 25 fathoms. Vessel operators are not required to deliver crab harvested from the closed area.
Fishing in the remainder of the South Peninsula District - Western Section will remain open until further notice.