King Crab

Page - May 27, 2009

Greenpeace Canada Redlist

Fishery Facts

Latin Name Paralithodes camtschaticus (Red king crab), Paralithodes platypus (Blue king crab), Lithodes aequispinus (Golden king crab), Lithodes couesi (Scarlet king crab),Lithodes santolla (Southern king crab), Lithodes maja and Neolithodes grimaldii(Red Atlantic king crab).

Other Common Name Alaska king crab, Red king crab, Golden king crab, Blue king crab, Golden king crab, Red Atlantic king crab

Fishing Method Trap or pots.

Region of Harvest King Crab inhabit the north Pacific Ocean from British Columbia to Alaska, including the Bering Sea and the Sea of Japan. They also inhabit the western Atlantic Ocean.

Other Red king crab is the most commercially important species of king crab.


 Crabe Royal

Why is it on the red list?   Biology

1. King crab stocks have suffered extreme declines around the world, except in the Barents Sea where introduced king crab populations have exploded and are putting stress on the ecosystem. In some areas like Eastern Russia, current fishing pressure is currently threatening the future survival of these populations.   

2. Large amounts of illegal fishing occur, as management and enforcement of fisheries is poor. Bycatch limits are often exceeded, fishing occurs in restricted areas, and catch data is frequently falsified.

3. Bycatch includes females, juveniles and non-target crab species and has been increasing over the years. Illegal fisheries have been known to use marine mammals as bait in crab traps. 

King crab live 20-30 years, and do not reach maturity until 4-7 years, making them vulnerable to overfishing.

King crab are primarily found in colder waters.