Declines in Bering Sea king crab and Tanner crab stocks are being described as “substantial”, while snow crab appears to be on a big rebound.

LINK TO STOCK ASSESSMENT & FISHERY EVALUATION REPORT FOR BERING SEA CRAB HERE — 

That’s according to the results of this year’s annual survey which were presented to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s crab plan team last week.

New dates!  Nov. 18-20, Seattle

For red king crab at the eastern portion of the Bering Sea more commonly called Bristol Bay, numbers of mature males dropped more than 40 percent from last year and mature females were down 54 percent.

Even worse, the yearly trawl surveys continue to show no sign of younger red king crab coming into the fishery.

“We haven’t seen recruitment in years,” Bob Foy told the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Foy is director of the NOAA Fisheries lab at Kodiak and crab plan team leader.

The story was the same for blue king crab at St. Matt’s, which Foy said is likely below a threshold for a fishery.

 

For Tanner crab, it is the number of mature females that dictate the fate of a fishery and those numbers dropped by 70 percent in the eastern district, continuing a decline over several years.

The news was better for the west, where male crabs held steady while females declined 14 percent. Foy also said there was a “substantial amount” of young crab poised to enter into that region’s Tanner fishery.

“Substantial” also sums up the good news for Bering Sea snow crab.

The survey showed a 60 percent boost in market sized males and nearly the same for females.

Foy said the survey “documented one of the largest snow crab recruitment events biologists have ever seen.”

Since 1975, state and federal scientists have partnered on crab stock trawl surveys each summer throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game will announce the status and catches for the Bering Sea crab fisheries any day. The fisheries open October 15.

LINK TO STOCK ASSESSMENT & FISHERY EVALUATION REPORT FOR BERING SEA CRAB HERE — 


 

Comments

comments