Blue King Crab Delivered to Seward for Research Project

Sixteen egg-bearing blue king crab captured off St. Matthew
Island in November have arrived at the Alaska King Crab Research,
Rehabilitation and Biology program site in Seward to be studied for ways to
increase hatchery production.
Biologists with the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish
Hatchery said the crab were an in-kind contribution from the F/V Bristol
, owned by Kevin Kaldestad and skippered by Tom Suryan.
The female crab were delivered to St. Paul,
where Trident Seafoods took good care of them and staff of the Central Bering
Sea Fishermen’s Association packaged and shipped the crab to Seward.
Once the crab larvae hatch in the spring,
research biologists at the hatchery will utilize them to refine techniques to
increase hatchery production.
Since the beginning of the AKCRRAB program in
2006, blue king crab have proven more difficult to rear in the hatchery than
red king crab. In 2012, AKCRRAB biologists achieved a breakthrough, when they
attained 53 percent survival of blue king crab from hatching to the first
juvenile stage by modifying the diet and adjusting the seawater exchange
In 2013, AKCRRAB biologists hope to replicate
this success and test whether similar survival can be achieved at higher
stocking densities to further increase the hatchery production capacity, the
biologists said. This is part of the AKCRRAB program’s ongoing effort to
utilize science and technology to help restore depleted populations of king
crab and safeguard the future of Alaska’s king crab fisheries.