Alaska Officials have recently postponed the upcoming winter gathering of Snow Crabs and canceled King Crab harvests. From 2018 through 2021, snow crab populations have been much less plentiful. This year, Alaska’s group of commercial fisheries has stated that snow crab populations have decreased by roughly 83% since 2018. Since the Bering Sea has started rising in temperature, snow crabs have faced challenges such as increased predation and more significant stress from the warm water. The snow crab population has also decreased because fishermen overhunt these animals.
Crabs can be sold for high prices, increasing their vulnerability. On the other hand, King Crabs have fewer amount of female crabs, so for different reasons, both species are struggling with population issues. This is why both of these guidelines were put in place, in an effort to rebuild Crab populations. Regaining population will take years to reach healthy numbers again, so you can expect to see more cancellations or postpone gathering crabs in the upcoming years. Thankfully changes are being made, and hope to see Snow Crab and King Crabs return to healthy population numbers in the upcoming years.