Bristol Bay Red Kings Face Challenges


Jay Barrett/KMXT

There are many challenges facing the Bristol Bay Red King Crab, both long- and short-term. Bob Foy is the director of the Kodiak Lab of the National Marine Fisheries Service, which charts crab abundance in the Bering Sea.

— (Red King 1 54 sec "Well there’s a couple things … in the Bering Sea.")

Red King quota was cut last year, and Foy says if recruitment isn’t up in summer surveys, he wouldn’t be surprised if there were another cut this fall:

— (Red King 2 28 sec "The National Marine Fisheries … gets going there in October.")

During a talk at Com Fish on Saturday, Foy said ocean acidification, which is a byproduct of global warming, could affect crab in several different ways:

— (Red King 3 38 sec "The reality is if ocean acidification … any one particular organism.")

Foy says the change in the PH level of ocean water wouldn’t mean much for humans, but would make a big difference for animals that depend on calcium in the water:

— (Red King 4 48 sec "The oceans are actually a little … say, 80- to 100-years.")

Foy added that the study of ocean acidity and the potential effects on the food chain is not just science for the sake of science. He says the more that is known about the biology and ecology of the environment, the better fish stocks, which are critical to fishing communities in Alaska, can be managed.

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