Sunday, September 4, 2011

Trouble for red king crab

Results from this summer's eastern Bering Sea trawl survey is fueling fears of a painful cut in the catch limit for the state's most valuable crab.

The estimated biomass of legal-sized male Bristol Bay red king crabs is 15,412 metric tons, down 27.8 percent from the 2010 estimate. It's the fourth consecutive year the biomass has fallen.

The numbers are contained in a National Marine Fisheries Service draft technical memorandum now making the rounds. Deckboss reviewed the 117-page document.

The survey results suggest that a significant cut in the total allowable catch (TAC) could be forthcoming. A panel of crab managers and scientists will review the survey at a meeting set for Sept. 19-22 in Seattle.

Bristol Bay red king crab in most years is Alaska's richest crab harvest. Over the most recent 10-year period for which data is available, 2000-2009, the fishery averaged a dockside value of $68 million.

The red king crab TAC for last season was 14.8 million pounds.

Fishery managers are likely to announce around Oct. 1 what the TAC will be for the 2011 season, which opens Oct. 15.


Anonymous said...

Lot's of money out there in the sea - we're destroying the resource slowly but surely.

Anonymous said...

How can it be that NMFS, the NPFMC, the Crab Plan Team, the Council's SSC, and the state's crab modeler (Zheng) don't know or don't care about the basic biology of the state's most valuable crab?

See the 12Sept2011 entry at:

jedifish said...

Anyone know how to get a copy of these crab and ground fish surveys, would be nice to see the actual data

Anonymous said...

For BBRKC, try

Note that the legal RKC estimate for 2011 is no better than +/- 34% of the mean, meaning that the 2011 estimated biomass is somewhere between 10,000 and 21,000 mt. Is this significantly different from the 21,000 +/- 7000 mt estimated for 2010? Where are the statistics?