Puget Sound Commerical Crabbers
I saw in today's newspaper that the commerical crabbers of Puget Sound are making a lot of noise and getting heard by the Washington State legislators in the current legislative session. The commercials are not happey with the way the crab harvest is being allocated.
The court decision of about 4 years ago gave the tribes 50% of the harvest (just like it did for steelhead and salmon) of crabs with the other 50% allocation to be split between commercial and recreational harvest. The commercial want more fishing days, "more stable commercial seasons", and more of the harvest. They claim they are losing income and cannot rely on being able to harvest crabs, which will cause many of the commercial crabbers to lose their "businesses", i.e. not be able to keep crabbing.
The paper reported that the legislature is listening to the commerical crabber concerns and that some legislators have introdruced or signed on as co-sponsors to seveal bills that would "fix the problem" and make sure the commercial crab fishery remains "viable".
I find it interesting that the commercials are going after the sports (recreational) crabbers since they have lost 50% of the harvest to the tribes. They know they cannot get any of the tribal allocation because of the court order, so it seems they are going to take a run at the recreational crabbers to get more crabs. After all, "the commercial crabbing industry provides family-wage jobs" to many families.