Currently — October 18th, 2022
What you need to know, currently.
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) announced last week that it has canceled the snow crab season for the first time in its history, due to an extreme crab population decline across the Bering Sea.
Snow crabs are cold-water species that usually sit clustered together in areas where water temperatures are below 2 degrees C (35.6 degrees F). When the water warms and sea ice gradually disappears, the ocean is no longer liveable for the crustaceans. Climate change has, of course, exacerbated these harmful conditions.
The snow crab population began to rapidly shrink in 2018, when the population fell from around 8 billion to just 1 billion by 2021, according to Benjamin Daly, a researcher with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The count in 2022 has dropped even further.
“Snow crab is by far the most abundant of all the Bering Sea crab species that is caught commercially,” Daly told CNN. “So the shock and awe of many billions missing from the population is worth noting – and that includes all the females and babies.”
Local fisheries — like Bristol Bay’s red king crab fishery, which will also be closed for the second year in a row — will inevitably be impacted.
What you can do, currently.
- Start funding climate solutions by joining our partner, Wren. More than 10,000 Wren members fund projects that plant trees, protect rainforest, and otherwise fight the climate crisis every month. Sign-up today and they’ll plant 10 trees in your name for free.