Red king crab, Краб камчатский
Stock structure of red king crab is still unclear despite innumerous studies conducted in the North Pacific. Seeb and Smith (2005) found that Bristol Bay, Port Moller and Pribilof Islands populations are genetically distinct from Aleutian Islands and Norton Sound what is coincided with the recent conclusion made by Pengilly et al. (2014) that consider that Adak and Norton Sound differ from the SE Bering Sea population. The existence of this latter population is also justified by Grant and Cheng (2012) that according to genetic studies distinguish three major groups: SE Alaska, W of Alaska and SE Bering Sea. However Grant et al. (2011) detected weak genetic structure among Bering Sea, Central Gulf of Alaska and SE Alaska and strong distinction from the Adak Island sample from the remaining samples. Gene flow rates are moderate within the Gulf of Alaska/Western Alaska region and evidence of multiple and distinct populations is higher in SE Alaska making more appropriate a management at a finer-scale in this area (Vulstek et al., 2013). In lack of a clear distribution and distinction of biological populations here we consider 5 assessment units identified under the 3 management registration areas by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Zheng and Siddeek, 2013; NPFMC, 2013):
- Aleutian Islands – 1) Adak and 2) Dutch Harbour;
- Bristol Bay – 3) Bristol Bay;
- Bering Sea – 4) Pribilof Islands and 5) Norton Sound.