10/20/03 crab NWS:: Crewmen on the F/V Exito from left to right back: Erik Synder, Lee Fleury, and Jeff Madigan, all from Skykomish, Wash., crash on the galley floor during a short break inbetween picking up strings of gear. (Crab pots are laid out in "strings" forming a line on the ocean floor for 20 to 35 pots.) They had worked almost 24 hours straight getting only a few breaks for a quick meal and naps, such as this one. Shortly afterwards they got 3 hours of sleep before having to return to deck. The current crab rationalization and buyback program, now being considered in congress, would eliminate the need for round-the-clock fishing and potentially make the industry safer, but would place crab quotas in the hands of processing companies, something many crab fishermen are against. This year's ADFG forecast of 14.7 million pounds was the largest projected harvest of Bristol Bay red king crab in 12 years. It will be several weeks before crabbers know if that harvest was met. The season lasted 5 days and 2 hours and was plagued with gale force winds of 35 knots or higher almost everyday.