The Seattle Times did an amazing job reporting on the impact the Climate Crisis is having on the crabbing industry. The crabbers are doing their best to adjust to changes in weather, ice and migration that impact all varieties of their fisheries. Many of the crabbers are based out of Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal.
Alaska state biologists slashed this year’s harvest of snow crab to just 5.6 million pounds — down nearly 90% from 2021 levels because of a massive drop-off in the crab population.
There are several theories about the decline including that our Climate Crisis increased the temperatures at the bottom layer of the ocean – which has historically helped protect crab from cod and other predators feeding on the crab. The oceans area’s providing this protection have been shrinking according to survey records dating back to 1982. The fishing fleets processes for handling discards are another issue that’s harming the snow crab population and resulting harvest.
The changes are resulting in Captains and their crews taking on greater risks by fishing further northward in rougher and more unpredictable seas, further from assistance if needed and away from the traditional crabbing grounds.
Learn more about how our Climate Crisis is impacting even the deepest and most remote parts of our planet at the Seattle Times who produced this article. There’s a great set of photos and graphics accompanying the article.
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