The Crab Group of Independent Harvesters
Seattle – The board of directors for the Crab Group of Independent Harvesters recently met and unanimously agreed to cease operations this summer and merge with the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers.
The Crab Group was originally formed to advocate for the crab buyback program and to represent independent harvesters in the development of the crab rationalization program. The buyback of excess licenses and vessels was successfully completed and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands crab fisheries were rationalized in 2005.
The Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, an umbrella organization for the independent crab cooperatives formed in the last few years. The Crab Group has worked closely with that organization on common goals and objectives at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and in Washington, DC.
Mark Gleason, executive director of the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers stated, “The Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers was formed based on the idea that all independent crab harvesters in the BSAI need to speak with a unified voice. Today’s announcement that the Crab Group will merge with ABSC takes us one step closer to realizing that goal.”
“It’s been great to watch the development of ABSC,” said long-time Crab Group consultant Linda Kozak. “I believe the crab harvesters will be able to be more effective as they begin to work under one organization. We’ve been working toward this merger for some time.”
Several members of the Crab Group board of directors are also board members of the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers. The members of the Crab Group are confident their issues will continue to be effectively addressed.