The wild Alaska king and snow crab season kicked off on October 15. The Alaska Bristol Bay red king crab harvest is set at 16 million pounds, a drop from last year’s harvest but above the 10-year average. Alaska king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) is the largest of all shellfish, prized for its sweet flavor and rich, tender white body meat.
The Alaska Bering Sea snow crab harvest is set at 48 million pounds. This is a reduction from last year but is also in line with the 10-year average. Alaska snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) has been the largest volume shellfish fishery in Alaska since the 1980s. With its widespread consumer appeal, it is recognized as one of today’s best shellfish values.
This year’s harvest levels point to Alaska’s ongoing practice of managing all of its fisheries to ensure their long term health and sustainability. State and federal fisheries managers continually adjust harvest limits based on the most current available scientific data—a key element within Alaska’s model of sustainability.
The history of crab fisheries in Alaska waters extends back to 1930. The harvest season for Alaska king crab typically ranges from October through November and again from January through March. Alaska snow crab is usually harvested from October through mid-February.