Juneau’s sport and personal use shrimp fisheries will remain closed indefinitely in 2014, according to a release from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The sport and personal use fisheries, as well as the commercial fisheries, were closed July 1, 2013, due to low shrimp population.
Juneau’s commercial shrimp fisheries were closed for three years starting July 1 to help rebuild the area’s shrimp stock, after it was found that catch was declining, the release stated. Because creel census data from 2003 through 2007 showed personal use and sport fishery harvests were equal to commercial harvests, the department also chose to close personal use and sport shrimp fishing in the area.
Juneau Area Management Biologist Dan Teske said it’s “tough to say” why shrimp population in the area is struggling.
The closed area is section 11-A, which comprises Stephens Passage from Little Island Light to Point Arden, according to an ADF&G map. In a previous Empire report, Teske said this is the first time section 11-A has been closed to shrimp fishing.
The department will monitor shrimp stock in the area, and will reopen it to personal use and sport fishing when the population can support it, Teske said.