CRAB GROUP PAGE

From the cold waters of Alaska to the warm waters of Florida, U. S. commercial fishermen harvest several different species of crab.

Alaska snow crab

Alaska snow crab

Snow crab, named for their sweet, delicate, snow-white meat, is one of Alaska’s signature crab fisheries. Under conservative harvest levels, Alaska snow crab has rebounded and is now above its target population level. This is good news for the resource and for fishermen, as an abundant resource can sustainably support increased harvests.

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Red king crab

Red king crab

Alaska is famous for its red king crab, the largest of the commercially harvested crabs. Fishermen catch them for their sweet, rich meat using large mesh covered pots. NOAA scientists annually survey the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands crab stocks to estimate their abundance, and under several years of conservative harvest levels and innovative management, Bristol Bay red king crab has bounced back. This resource now supports some of the highest catches in the last 15 years, and is one of the most valuable fisheries in the United States.

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Stone crab

Stone crab

There are three species of true stone crabs: the Florida variety, the Gulf crab, and a hybrid resulting from interbreeding of the Florida and Gulf species. They’re found along the Gulf and South Atlantic coast from Texas to Florida, but most are harvested in state waters off Florida. The fishery for stone crabs is unique – fishermen are only allowed to take the large front claw of stone crab. Afterwards, they must safely return the crab back to the water. The United States is the only supplier of stone crab claws.

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