iCrowdNewswire Jan 14, 2021 2:20 AM ET
The red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) is a species of king crab native to the far northern Pacific Ocean, including the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, but also introduced to the Barents Sea, also called Kamchatka crab or Alaskan king crab. It grows to a 1.8 m (5.9 ft) leg span and is strongly targeted by fisheries.
The largest species of king crab is the red king crab. A carapace width of up to 28 cm (11 in), a leg span of 1.8 m (5.9 ft), and a weight of 12.7 kg can be attained by the red king crabs (28 lb).
Males grow bigger than women do. Today, in carapace width, red king crabs rarely reach 17 cm (7 in) and the average male landed in the Bering Sea weighs 2.9 kg (6.4 lb). Instead of the color of a living animal, which appears to be more burgundy, it was named for the color it transforms when cooked.
Distribution About King Crab:
The Red King crab is native to the Bering Sea, the North Pacific Ocean, the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Alaskan waters surrounding it. In the 1960s, it was artificially introduced into the Murmansk Fjord, Barents Sea, by the Soviet Union to provide a fresh, and useful, catch in Europe. In water temperatures ranging from -1.8 to 12.8 °C (28.8 to 55.0 °F), red king crabs have been seen, usually being 3.2 to 5.5 °C (37.8 to 41.9 °F). Immatures prefer temperatures below 6 °C (43 °F). The depth in which it can live has a lot to do with what stage of its life cycle it is in; freshly hatched crabs (zoea larvae) remain in shallower waters where there is plenty of food and safety.
The crabs typically go down to depths of 20-50 m (66-164 ft) after the age of two and engage in what is known as podding; in small, highly clustered groups, hundreds of crabs come together. Adult crabs are typically found on the sand and muddy areas in the substratum more than 200 m deep. They migrate to shallower depths for mating in the winter or early spring, but most of their lives are spent in the deep waters where they feed.
Alaskan king crab fishing:
In the waters off the coast of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, Alaskan king crab fishing is carried out during the fall. During a very brief season, the commercial harvest is carried out and the catch is shipped worldwide. In Russian and foreign waters, significant numbers of king crabs are also captured.
Alaskan fisheries produced up to 200,000,000 pounds (91,000,000 kg) of crab in 1980, at the height of the king crab industry. The overall size of the catch, however, had fallen by up to 90 percent in some areas by 1983. Several hypotheses have been suggested, including overfishing, warmer waters, and increased fish predation, for the precipitous decline in the crab population.
As a result, the current season is very short and only 24,000,000 pounds (11,000,000 kg) of red king crab landed in the 2010 season.
Alaskan crab fishing is very risky, and the rate of mortality among fishermen is around 80 times the average worker’s fatality rate. It is proposed that, on average, during the seasons, one crab fisherman dies per week.
Groups of king crab that are of commercial value:
Three species of king crab are commercially caught in Alaska: the red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus, found in Bristol Bay, Norton Sound, and the archipelago of Kodiak), the blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus, St. Matthew Island, and the Pribilof Islands), and the gold king crab (Lithodes aequispinus, Aleutian Islands). The Red King Crab, for its meat, is the most prized of the three. The scarlet king crab (Lithodes course), a fourth variety, is too small and rare to be commercially viable, although its meat is considered sweet and tasty. Strict size criteria must be met; at various times of the year, only certain varieties of king crab are legal and only males can be kept.