Following a substantial over harvest by commercial crabbers, WDFW recently announced
an emergency closure to the popular and productive recreational crab fishery in marine areas 8-1 and 8-2 near Everett. Lack of proper oversight by WDFW, along with an antiquated reporting process, resulted in a loss of one and a half months of recreational crabbing opportunity in Puget Sound. Regrettably, this scenario was completely avoidable and it's yet another example of WDFW failing to adequately manage fisheries. Once again recreational anglers are paying the price.
Crabbing is one of the few recreational opportunities available to Puget Sound recreationalists during the winter months. Prior to the closure, crabbing had been described as “excellent” by recreational crabbers in the area. Unfortunately, recreational anglers are left sitting on the sidelines, and local businesses are suffering. Losing one and half months of recreational crabbing in the area will mean serious economic losses for our community.
There is a desperate need for WDFW to modernize their current out-of-date reporting system for commercial crabbers. Additionally, as advocates for the recreational community, WDFW should make amends for their debacle by implementing a payback to the recreational sector during the 2020 recreational crab season in areas 8-1 and 8-2.
Please contact WDFW Director Kelly Susewind today! Tell the Director that you want to see real reforms enacted that improve resource management and recognize the importance of the recreational community – who are of the primary sources of funding and public support for WDFW. Puget Sound residents and the resource deserve better!
November 26 Update: WDFW announced the reopening of areas 8-1 and 8-2 to recreational crabbing, effective Thursday, November 28th through December 31st. This is a positive development for recreational crabbers and the businesses that rely on this important and popular fishery.
With that said, the issues that caused the initial closure must be addressed! The modernization of the antiquated reporting system used to manage this fishery is necessary to ensure healthy crab populations and robust fisheries in the future. Please respond to this Action Alert and share your concerns with Director Susewind today.