How Many Crab Fishing Boats in Alaska?

Last Updated on October 16, 2022

It’s no secret that the crab fishing industry in Alaska is booming. In fact, it’s one of the most popular fisheries in the state. But how many crab fishing boats are there in Alaska?

The answer may surprise you. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, there are approximately 1,500 commercial crab fishing boats in Alaska. That number includes both small and large vessels.

And while that may seem like a lot of boats, it’s actually a relatively small number compared to other fisheries in the state. For example, there are more than 6,000 commercial salmon fishing boats in Alaska.

How many crab fishing boats are in Alaska? That’s a tough question to answer. The number of boats varies from year to year, and it also depends on the type of crab fishing being done.

For example, there are usually more pots than setnets during the fall king crab season. According to the most recent data from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, there were 1,311 active commercial crab permits in 2016. This included both pot and setnet permits.

It’s worth noting that not all of these boats would be actively fishing at the same time, as some permit holders only fish part-time or during certain seasons. The number of boats has been slowly declining over the years. In 2000, there were nearly 2,000 active commercial crab permits in Alaska.

So why the decline? There are a few factors at play here. First, the price of crabs has been down in recent years, which means that fewer fishermen are willing to risk their lives (and their boat) for a smaller payoff.

Second, stricter regulations have been put in place in recent years aimed at protecting crab stocks and preventing overfishing. These regulations limit the number of pots that each fisherman can use and/or require fishermen to release female crabs back into the wild. Whatever the reason for the decline, one thing is clear: there are fewer crab fishing boats in Alaska today than there were a decade ago.

Amazing Catch Hundreds Tons Alaska King Crab With Modern Big Boat – Amazing Crab Fishing on the sea

How Many Boats are in the Bering Sea Crab Fleet?

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, as of 2013, there were approximately 635 boats in the Bering Sea crab fleet. This number has likely changed in the past six years, but this gives you a general idea of the size of the fleet. The vast majority of these boats are under 40 feet long and catch crabs using pot gear, which is a type of trap.

A smaller number of larger boats use trawl nets to catch crabs.

What is the Biggest Crab Boat in Alaska?

The biggest crab boat in Alaska is the Aleutian Lady, measuring in at 79 feet long and 25 feet wide. This massive vessel can hold up to 40,000 pounds of crab, making it one of the most productive boats in the state’s fleet. The Aleutian Lady is owned and operated by Trident Seafoods, one of the largest seafood companies in the world.

How Much Does a Crab Boat Captain Make in Alaska?

A crab boat captain in Alaska can make a salary of $50,000 to $80,000 per season. This does not include the money made from selling the crabs they catch. A typical season for crabbing in Alaska is from October to January.

How Many Fishing Boats Sink in Alaska?

Fishing boats sink for a variety of reasons in Alaska. Some are due to weather conditions, some are due to mechanical issues, and some are due to operator error. It is difficult to estimate how many fishing boats sink in Alaska each year because there is no central reporting system.

The best estimates come from the Coast Guard, which reports an average of 10-15 fishing boats sinking each year in Alaska waters.

How Much Do Alaskan Crab Boats Make?

Alaskan crab boats are some of the most lucrative fishing vessels in operation. In a good season, a boat can easily bring in over $1 million USD worth of crabs. The average price per pound for crab is about $5 USD, and a typical catch will yield 2,000 to 10,000 pounds of crab.

The most successful crab boats are those that can fish in the “Golden Triangle,” an area located off the west coast of Alaska that is notorious for its large catches. This triangle is also one of the most dangerous areas to fish, due to its remote location and treacherous waters. Many boats have been lost (and fishermen with them) while attempting to fish these waters.

How Much Does a Crab Deckhand Make a Year?

Crab deckhands are responsible for the maintenance and operation of crabbing gear and equipment. They typically work on board a crabbing vessel and are responsible for setting, retrieving and resetting crab pots. Crab deckhands typically earn a salary of $30,000-$35,000 per year.

Why is Crab Fishing So Dangerous

Crab fishing is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States. Every year, commercial crab fishermen are killed or seriously injured while working on the job. In fact, the fatality rate for crab fishermen is more than 60 times higher than the average for all other occupations.

There are many dangers that crab fisherman face while on the job. One of the biggest dangers is getting pulled overboard by a Crab pot. Crab pots can weigh up to 800 pounds when they are full of crabs and water.

If a fisherman gets pulled into the water by a pot, they can easily drown or be crushed by the weight of the pot. Another big danger that crab fisherman face is being struck by machinery. Crab fishing boats are equipped with large winches and pulleys that are used to haul in Crab pots from the ocean floor.

If a fisherman gets too close to one of these machines, they can easily be struck by it and severely injured or killed. Weather also plays a big role in how safe it is to go crab fishing. Rough seas can make it very difficult to fish safely, and storms can quickly turn deadly if a boat capsizes or gets swamped by waves.

Crab Boat Northwestern Sinks

The crab boat Northwestern sank in the early hours of this morning, and all hands are feared lost. The vessel went down in Alaskan waters, and was carrying a crew of six. The cause of the sinking is not yet known, but it is believed that rough weather may have been a factor.

This is a developing story, and we will provide more information as it becomes available.

What Do Crab Fishermen Do in the Off-Season

In the off-season, crab fishermen typically take on other jobs to make ends meet. This can include working as a commercial fisherman for other species, such as lobster or shrimp. Some crab fishermen also work in construction or as deckhands on oil rigs.

Whatever the case may be, most crab fishermen use the off-season to earn money in other ways so they can support their families and maintain their livelihoods.


In Alaska, there are an estimated 3,500 commercial crab fishing boats. These boats range in size from small skiffs to large factory trawlers, and they fish for crab in all areas of the state. The number of crab fishing boats has remained fairly stable over the past few years, despite changes in the overall number of fishing boats in Alaska.