New Seafood Watch status for Alaska crabs

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program released new and updated assessments on king and snow crab from Alaska last week.

Bristol Bay red king crab from the Eastern Bering Sea has been elevated to a “best choice” by Seafood Watch.

With this updated recommendation, all of the major crab fisheries in the Eastern Bering Sea, including two species of snow crab and blue king crab from St. Matthews Island meet Seafood Watch’s “best choice” standard.

The updated Seafood Watch recommendations maintain the “avoid” status for all crab fisheries in the Russian portion of the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Northern Sea of Japan. These “avoid” listings reflect the fact that stocks are at critically low levels as a result of rampant illegal fishing and highly ineffective management.

“With these updated recommendations the Seafood Watch program is just confirming what we have known for years. King and snow crab from Alaska is clearly the best choice if you care about the health of the oceans and wish to support sustainable fisheries,” said Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers Science & Policy Analyst Ruth Christiansen. “We hope that consumers, retailers, and those in the food service industry will use these recommendations to make informed purchasing decisions and demand King and Snow crab from Alaska.”

About the author

Samuel Hill

Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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