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Copyright vEsti24
Dec 21 2009
Progress in Crab Hatchery Research PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 December 2009

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             With an eye toward the possibility of someday rebuilding depleted stocks, scientists are continuing to study how to raise larval king crab in a hatchery setting. While much more research is required before any hatchery-raised King crabs can be released into the wild, scientists are reporting progress in the pioneering study. Diana Gish has more:

            The Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology program, or "AKCRAAB" is a cooperative project through The Alaska Sea Grant program. Several groups are taking part in the crab-rearing project, including state and federal agencies, fishing associations, coastal communities, the University of Alaska and the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery in Seward. The goal of the program is to conduct research aimed at hatching and rearing red and blue king crab in a large-scale hatchery.

            One of the members of the research team is Ben Daly a UAF research biologist at the Seward Marine Center. He's one of two scientists who is carrying out the larval rearing of the crabs at the shellfish hatchery.

--          (Baby Crab 1                                      "And the goal... its released.")


           In the next few years the researchers hope to carry out more ecologically based research both in the lab and in the field.


--          (Baby Crab 2                        "To sort of ... ecologically competent.")


            To get to this point, Daly and his partner worked for three years to learn how to raise the crabs from eggs to juveniles.

--          (Baby Crab 3                    "We're really proud ... challenge in itself.")


            With the challenge came both frustrations and break-throughs.

--          (Baby Crab 4                          "So that first ... able to achieve.")


            In addition to the hatching studies, National Marine Fisheries scientists in Kodiak are conducting studies on the dietary needs of larval and juvenile king crab. NMFS (nimfs) scientists in Newport, Oregon are examining the role of predation among juvenile king crab. UAF and University of Alaska Southeast researchers in Juneau are conducting research on genetics, growth physiology of crab in the wild and habitat requirements.

            To support the research, fishermen aboard the vessel "Zone Five" collected 19 egg-bearing female blue king crab in the Bering Sea and fishermen aboard the fishing vessel "Stormbird" collected 18 red king crab in Bristol Bay. The crab were gathered under a special state permit and delivered to the researchers in Seward and Kodiak.

            I'm Diana Gish.

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