Local fisherman takes advantage of being able to sell crab on Kodiak docks

Dungeness crab for sale by Brian Blondin. (Photo by Mitch Borden/KMXT)

Mitch Borden/KMXT

Fresh seafood seems like it’d be an easy thing to get in a fishing town like Kodiak. But it wasn’t until recently that it was legal for fishermen to sell what they’ve caught right off their boats on local docks.

KMXT went down to St. Paul Harbor to check out one fisherman taking advantage of being able to sell his catch to anyone looking to have a crab dinner.

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Brian Blondin is holding a Dungeness crab and pinching its shell to see if its ready to eat.

“You always gotta feel make sure the shells are hard.”

If the shell’s too soft it’s a sign the crab is molting and it doesn’t have a lot of meat in it, he says.

“If you, pinch underneath the main claw and its body, if it moves in it’s a soft shell or you can feel the legs also. If they’re really soft you can almost smash them with one hand.”

The one Blondin’s checking passes the test, and he throws it back into a bin holding hundreds of its squirming brethren he’s trying to sell. He’s one of the first people to take advantage of the City of Kodiak allowing fisherman to sell what they’ve caught on its docks, which has only been legal since late last year.

Being able to offer fresh seafood right off his boat is great says, Blondin, because he can get a better price for it than he would from selling to processors.

“Yeah, right now, if you only have a handful of crab you can take your time and get a better price for your crab or fish or whatever you’re going after.”

That extra bump in profit can be pretty helpful in an industry, like fishing, that can be unstable at times.

“Commercial fishing is up and down. You have your good days and good stories or you have your bad days and stuff’s breaking. It’s up and down, but if you work hard at it, stays busy, it pays off in the end.”

Even though it’s cold rainy day in Kodiak, Blondin’s says he’s seen about 30 to 40 people and has sold around 100 crabs, which means he’s made over a thousand dollars so far.

Borden: “Do you think you’ll sell all your crab today?”

Blondin: “I hope so. We might have a few left tomorrow or else we’re gonna have a big cookout and have a bunch in the freezer for when we’re hungry. So, we’ll see.”

Blondin says after he finishes up selling this batch of crab, he and his crew are heading back out to catch more so he’ll have some sell at the Kodiak Crab Festival later this week.

 

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