While many of Alaska’s famed Bering Sea crabbing seasons have been wiped out due to low king and snow crab declines, the Dungeness crab season is to a remarkably hot start. Here’s more from Alaska Public Media via KCUB radio in Unalaska:
The numbers increased modestly over the ensuing decades — but that growth has recently become exponential.
“The pots that we’re seeing coming out of this fishery are absolutely stuffed with crab,” said Ethan Nichols, who works for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “Like, you don’t even know how many crabs can fit in a pot.”
Nichols is Fish and Game’s assistant area manager for groundfish and shellfish in Dutch Harbor. He said the fishery boomed last year and became the largest Dungeness crab fishery in Alaska — bringing in 35% of the state’s total Dungeness landings.
The story also points to climate change as a factor for the crash of the other crab species’ stocks.