Who We Are ~ About BSFRF
The BSFRF is a non-profit research foundation funded by both industry stakeholders and management agencies to provide a means for industry members, fisheries managers and crab scientists to interact. It has integrally involved researchers from federal (National Marine Fisheries Service - NMFS) and state (Alaska Department of Fish and Game ADF&G) agencies, university scientists (University of Washington, University of Alaska Fairbanks), graduate students, as well as international crab experts (Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada).
History of BSFRF
Improving management of Bering Sea crab fisheries has been a long struggle. While other important fisheries in Alaska have endured through lower abundance periods, most of these resources have a long track record of sustainability marked by important milestones of collaborative research with industry. Bering Sea crab resources are unique in that they have endured through more significant periods of lower abundance, the stocks have shown relatively lower resilience and collaboration with industry has been more challenging. Even after the implementation of programs promoting cooperative research (parts of FCMA, 1977) and more elaborate federal and state management tools were in place, relative to other Alaska fisheries, progress toward collaboration in the crab industry has been slow. While other sectors of the Bering Sea and Alaska fishing industry have some historical success in forming cooperative research foundations of their own, until the formation of the BSFRF, the Bering Sea crab industry had not.
The BSFRF was successfully formed by commercial crab industry leaders in 2003 with the encouragement of NMFS and has undertaken a number of projects in a well-integrated effort. BSFRF has taken an active role in working with both NMFS and ADF&G to improve the scientific information used in the annual assessments of Bering Sea crab stocks.
After snow crab trawl surveying supplemental to NMFS in 2004, a formal agreement authorized the BSFRF in 2005 to conduct its first industry-run cooperative survey using new crab survey methodology. This was followed by BSFRF-led full resource surveys of the Bristol Bay red king crab in 2007 and 2008. Based on results of these surveys, industry participation and support from other sources increased and cooperative efforts for improving science for managing crab stocks expanded to other research including support of stock assessment and modeling, discard and handling mortality, tagging and recovery experiments and participation in several workshops and forums on improving the science of crab management. In July 2009, BSFRF completed a trawl net efficiency experiment for Bering Sea snow crab where results are refining snow crab modeling. The work was refined and funded to continue with an expanded field experiment completed in July, 2010. After overcoming important challenges, BSFRF expects to continue future research to further the goals of cooperatively improving science used in crab management.
The BSFRF Board of Directors
Gary Painter, F/V Trailblazer & Partners (President)
Doug Wells, Kanaga Island Fisheries, Inc. (Vice President)
Frank Kelty, Natural Resources Manager, City of Unalaska, AK (Vice President)
Lenny Herzog, F/V Tempo Sea, LLC. (Secretary)
Steve Minor, Unisea, Inc.
Anne Vanderhoeven, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.
Jim McManus, Trident Seafoods
Gary Loncon, KP&GL, LLC. (Treasurer)
Louie Lowenberg, Arctic Lady Enterprises
Mark Casto, F/V Pinnacle
Edward Poulsen, EHP, LLC.
Dale Schwarzmiller, Peter Pan Seafoods, Inc.