Shutdown could ground Bering Sea crabbers at season's peak

AnchorageOctober 8, 2013 

From NBC News: The lucrative Bering Sea king crab season is set to open Oct. 15, but crabbing permits aren't being issued during the partial federal government shutdown. 

Even if the partial government shutdown is lifted soon after mid-October – allowing now-furloughed federal workers at the National Marine Fisheries Service to begin issuing crabbing permits – the fleet will need three to five business days to gather those quota licenses and head to sea, shrinking an already-tight window to score fat crabs and big bucks, Mark Gleason, executive director of Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, said.

And beyond that lost opportunity, the stationary vessels each will ooze about $1,000 per day in costs, he added.

“There are 80 boats ready to go. When they’re sitting there tied up to the dock, they’re paying moorage fees, paying fuel to keep their generators running, paying for labor, insurance, and food for the crew,” Gleason said. “It’s going to get expensive in a hurry.”

Read more: Shutdown may ground crabbing fleet, spoil industry's richest month

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