(ORDO NEWS) — The sharp decline in the population of snow crabs (also known as snow crabs) in the waters of Alaska is associated with severe weather conditions.
American researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came to this conclusion.
Erin Fedeva, a marine biologist at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, explained that there were a series of heatwaves in 2018 and 2019 that cut off their critical cold habitat.
The average temperature in their habitats has increased from one and a half to 3.5 C °. This problem has given rise to several others.
First of all, many crustaceans began to experience metabolic stress due to a sharp change in living conditions.
Also, the absence of a cold environment made it much more difficult for them to escape from their main enemy – the predatory Pacific cod. The young are especially hard hit by this.
According to a study obtained by the Agency, the number of endemic crabs over the past four years (since the first powerful heat wave) has decreased from 11.7 to 1.9 billion individuals.
This situation forced the authorities to take extreme measures. For the first time in history, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has closed the Bering Sea crustacean season this year and next.
Specialists will carry out measures to preserve and restore the number of crabs. Because of this, local fishermen and communities involved in their fishery may be on the verge of survival.
The good news is a noticeable increase this year in the number of immature crabs compared to last year.
However, this does not solve the problem much, since it will take at least another four years to reach sizes suitable for their extraction.
Contact us: [email protected]