Petersburg Pilot -

Fish Factor: Crabbers believe the cause of the disappearing crab is changing ocean conditions

 


Bering Sea crabbers were stunned last week when the

outlooks for the upcoming fall and winter fisheries were revealed.

Results of the annual summer surveys by state and federal scientists showed that numbers of mature male and females dropped sharply across the board for the big three:  opilio (snow crab), their larger cousins, bairdi Tanners, and red king crab.

“I don’t think anybody was expecting the numbers to be as low as they ended up. That was a shock,” said Ruth Christiansen, science adviser and policy analyst for the trade group, Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers.

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