Murmansk scientists explaining grounds for red king crab fishery ban in the Barents Sea
Under the order of the Federal Fisheries Agency, the commercial fishery of red king crab in the Barents Sea is prohibited until 1 September 2009 and the scientists explain the need for the ban by increasing abundance of entrapped baby crabs, reports www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) with reference to Ryba Kamchatskogo Kraya.
Crabbers themselves say that crabs have not been feeding well and most of red kings have got practically empty legs without the necessary meat content. Officials from the Agency also say that the crab traps will hamper capelin fishery which has been resumed as 1 January 2009.
In the recent years the red king crab fishery has been allowed with a break for spring and summer, namely from 1 March to 1 September, when the stock spawns and molts. Therefore, in the current year the fishermen will lose two months of January and February. In order to compensate for the losses associated with the ban the crabbers will have to temporarily switch to other fisheries.
In the meantime, in 2008 the Russian red king crab quota has been as large as 11,493.5 tonnes (offshore + inshore) with the lion's share of 86% allocated to Murmansk-based crabbers. In fact, the quotas have been increased as seen from the below table.
Quota holder / Year
Russian Tax Number
ZAO Arcticservice (closed jsc)
OAO Severomorsky Alliance (plc)
OOO SZKK (ltd)
OOO SZRK-Murmansk (ltd)