Fishermen collect Pribilof blue king crab for Alaska hatchery research program
Submitted by Doug Schneider
Phone: (907) 474-7449
St. Paul, Alaska--For the first time in nearly a decade, fishermen late last month harvested blue king crab from waters surrounding this remote Pribilof Island fishing community in the Bering Sea. But the crabs they caught were not destined for the seafood display case. Instead, the crabs were collected as part of a fisherman-led effort aimed at rebuilding the island's collapsed blue king crab fishery.
The crabs, 15 egg-bearing females and 13 additional males and non-egg bearing females, will serve as brood stock and research specimens for the Alaska King Crab Research and Rehabilitation Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The program, run by the NOAA Alaska Sea Grant Program at UAF, seeks to develop and test techniques to mass-culture king crab. The long-term goal is to develop, with state and federal partners, a plan to release hatchery-born wild king crab into the wild.