Catches for Alaska’s premier crab fisheries in the Bering Sea could take a dip this year based on results from the annual summer surveys.

The annual report by NOAA Fisheries called “The Eastern Bering Sea Continental Shelf Bottom Trawl Survey: Results from Commercial Crab Species” (long dubbed the ‘crab map’) shows tables reflecting big drops over the past year in abundance of legal sized males for both snow crab and red king crab at Bristol Bay. (Only legal males are allowed to be retained for sale.)

But there is a bright side -- both stocks appear to have strong numbers of younger crab set to recruit into the fisheries in coming years.

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