"Ice in Bering Sea Threatens Crab Fishery"

"Sea ice is encroaching unusually early on the central Bering Sea, threatening to grind Alaska's economically important snow crab fishery to a halt at the peak of the season, leaving crabbers facing major losses."

"Earlier-than-expected ice is moving south over prime crabbing grounds, forcing boats away from their catch and putting millions of dollars of equipment in jeopardy.

These kind of "mother nature effects" are part of the fishing business everywhere, said Karen Gillis, the executive director of the Bering Sea Fishermen's Association.

But this fishery, which was expected to net 80 million pounds this year, hasn't seen a natural event like this in 20 years, she said, and it could have a devastating economic impact on crabbers and their families."

Michelle Theriault Boots reports for the Anchorage Daily News January 25, 2012.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, 01/26/2012