Last updated on 3 March 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Lithodes aequispinus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Golden king crab

The stock structure is unknown and the connection among areas is not studied. Based on fishing activities, two assessment units are considered: Aleutian Islands and Pribilof Islands (NOAA n.d.; North Pacific Fishery Management Council 2015).

Within Aleutian Islands two management units are defined: East to and West to 174º (Pengilly 2012). Current contents and scores may not coincide with the structure assumed. 


ANALYSIS

Strengths

Discards are quantified through onboard observer scheme and used in stock assessments for this stock. This is a male only fishery with mangers limiting effort via closed areas, size limits, and other measures.

Weaknesses

Cumulative mortality from other non-directed ground fish trawl fisheries and impact of substantial bycatch of non-target king crab (females, undersize males) in these fisheries is not completely understood. There is no formally analytical assessment at this time; though work is being done on one.Reference points and quotas are based on historical catch, and are not tied to stock abundance or productivity. Managers set very precautionary quotas in light of these uncertainties

Options

Data collection of catches from subsistence and sport fishing can be improved to get better estimates of total harvests of crabs in Aleutian Islands. Maintain the conservative harvest control limits in terms of quota and effort controls. Further encourage the development of an analytical model and data support that will tie harvest limits with stock abundance and productivity.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 6

Future Health:

≥ 6


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS
  • Review the FishSource profile and publish or share online relevant missing information in your possession or those accessible to you.
  • Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
  • Work with scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.
  • Encourage the institutionalization of data collection and publication.
RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Advise your suppliers that currently the FishSource profile reflects that there is not enough information publicly available on this fishery and you are unable to make an accurate determination of the sustainability status. Request that they advise the relevant authorities of the situation and that efforts need to be made to collect and publish data and disclose data sources to FishSource to better inform buying decisions.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Aleutian Islands East to 174º/ADF&G United States Pots
West to 174º/ADF&G United States Pots

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 13 August 2013

Strengths

Discards are quantified through onboard observer scheme and used in stock assessments for this stock. This is a male only fishery with mangers limiting effort via closed areas, size limits, and other measures.

Weaknesses

Cumulative mortality from other non-directed ground fish trawl fisheries and impact of substantial bycatch of non-target king crab (females, undersize males) in these fisheries is not completely understood. There is no formally analytical assessment at this time; though work is being done on one.Reference points and quotas are based on historical catch, and are not tied to stock abundance or productivity. Managers set very precautionary quotas in light of these uncertainties

Options

Data collection of catches from subsistence and sport fishing can be improved to get better estimates of total harvests of crabs in Aleutian Islands. Maintain the conservative harvest control limits in terms of quota and effort controls. Further encourage the development of an analytical model and data support that will tie harvest limits with stock abundance and productivity.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 3 January 2017

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators
  • Review the FishSource profile and publish or share online relevant missing information in your possession or those accessible to you.
  • Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
  • Work with scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.
  • Encourage the institutionalization of data collection and publication.
Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Advise your suppliers that currently the FishSource profile reflects that there is not enough information publicly available on this fishery and you are unable to make an accurate determination of the sustainability status. Request that they advise the relevant authorities of the situation and that efforts need to be made to collect and publish data and disclose data sources to FishSource to better inform buying decisions.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 13 August 2013

No formal assessment conducted.No estimates of biomass or exploitation available.Reference points are based on average catch and are not tied to stock health or productivity (Pengilly, 2013).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 13 August 2013

No formalized assessment or projections are used.
Quotas are based entirely on historical catch and are not reflective of stock health (Pengilly, 2013).

Reference Points

Last updated on 13 Aug 2013

Reference points are based on historical catch, and then revised downward as a Tier 5 stock. However use of historical averages do not tie exploitation to abundance or productive/MSY. Therefore these levels may be to high when the stock is doing poorly, and too low when the stock is doing well.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 13 August 2013

Status of this stock is unknown given the lack of reference points and lack of a quantified model(Pengilly, 2013).

Trends

Last updated on 13 Aug 2013

Stock status and trend unknown at this time.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 13 August 2013

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 13 Aug 2013

The Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) region Golden king crab fishery has been under proactive management since 2005, through the “Crab Rationalization Program” implemented by NPFMC which limits “access by decreasing fishing capacity (number of vessels and processors in Alaska)” in the jurisdiction of this fishery (NOAA 2012). However, because this is a Tier 5 stock with no measures of exploitation or biomass, a recovery plan is not currently in place.

Last updated on 13 August 2013

Note quotas are based only on historical catch and are not tied to stock productive, abundance, or health. Exploitation is not measured and no projections are performed.

This is a male only fishery with size limits, and other effort controls used in addition to a historically based quota. At low stock levels (if measured) mechanisms are in place to close the fishery complete to directed harvest

Managers set quotas well below the scientific advice (Pengilly, 2013).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 30 May 2008

Compliance is relatively good in this fishery and very few violations are reported recent years.

Further,“the operator of a vessel participating in an IFQ, CDQ or ACA crab fishery must notify the USCG at least 24-hours prior to departing port when carrying crab pot gear” (ADFG 2011).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 30 May 2008

Information on interactions of crab fishing vessels with protected, endangered and threatened species is not available for both directed and other groundfish fisheries in the jurisdiction of this fishery.

Other Species

Last updated on 30 May 2008

By-catch and discards have reported in both directed fishery and other crab fisheries such as fixed-gear and groundfish trawl fisheries. In the groundfish fisheries by-catch exceeded 0.100-million pounds (45 t) during 2007/08 and 2008/09 time period. “estimated weight of discarded bycatch has ranged from 2.524-million pounds (1,145 t) for the 2005/06 season (representing 46% of the retained catch for that season) to 3.035-million pounds (1,376 t) for the 2007/08 season (representing 55% of the retained catch for that season)” (NPFMC 2011).

HABITAT

Last updated on 30 May 2008

The fishery has minimal to low impact on habitat of the Golden king crabs. Several Marine Protected Areas have been declared to protect Essential Habitat of Golden kings crabs and Tanner crabs, by banning trawling in many sections of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI).

Most of the essential habitat of Golden king crabs in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) is mapped and measures are in place to protect complex features such as“cobble, empty bivalves shells, and living biogenic habitat such as algae, sponges, seastars and hydroids” which provide shelter and food for juvenile and adult crabs (NMFS 2004).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 30 May 2008

No MPAs are reported, but there are extensive trawl and bottom trawl closures within and around the fishing area.

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is < 6.

No formal assessment including stock size, or exploitation. Reference points based on historical average catch (Pengilly, 2013).

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the ABC.

The Set TAC is 2.85 ('000 t). The ABC is 5.12 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/ABC for this index is 55.7%.

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Landings as a percentage of the Set TAC.

The Landings is 2.70 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 2.72 ('000 t) .

The underlying Landings/Set TAC for this index is 99.3%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Stock appears to be at least stable if not slightly increasing given the CPUE (Pengilly, 2013).

As calculated for 2010 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

For crab stocks management in the BSAI area, overfishing is determined by comparing the Overfishing Limit (OFL) with the total catch for a given year (NPFMC, 2008). According to the latest SAFE report, “Total catch in 2010/11 was below the retained catch OFL thus overfishing did not occur” (Pengilly, 2011).

No data available for biomass
No data available for biomass
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES

Notes: Catches are commercial only and summed for Southeast Alaska (1973-2008) and Aleutian Islands (1996-2008). TACs are sums of quotas (1972-1978) or Guideline Harvest Levels (GHL) (1979-2008) for Southeast Alaska and GHL (1996-2005) or TACs (2006-2009) for the Aleutian Islands. The commercial fishery for brown (golden) king crab in Prince William Sound has been closed since 1995 due to stock concerns. The stock is not assessed analytically and no stock biomass or fishing mortality estimates are available so no other scores can be determined. A stock assessment model for the Aleutian Islands fishery is under development however.

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), 2011. Aleutian Islands Golden King Crab Fishery opens August 15: Total Allowable Catch announced. Alaska Department of Fish and Game- Division of Commercial Fisheries. July 15,2011. Dutch Harbor. 2 pp.http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/crab/rat/adfg/2011_12aigoldens.pdf
  2. Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), 2012. 2012-2014 Commercial King and Tanner Crab Fishing Regulations, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 168 pages.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/fishregulations/pdfs/commercial/KingTannerCrab-2012-2014.pdf
  3. Bowers FR, Schwenzfeier M, Milani K, Salmon M, Herring K, Shaishnikoff J, Russ, Burt R & Barnhart H, 2008. Annual Management Report for the Commercial and Subsistence Fisheries of the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea and the Westwards Region’s Shellfish Observer Program, 2007/08. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Management Report No. 08-73. http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FedAidPDFs/FMR08-73.pdf
  4. Hebert K, Davidson W, Stratman J, Bush K, Bishop G, Siddon C, Bednarski J, Messmer A & Wood K, 2008. 2009 Report to the Alaska Board of Fisheries on Region 1 Shrimp, Crab, and Scallop Fisheries. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Management Report No. 08-62.http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FedAidPDFs/FMR08-62.pdf
  5. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), 2004. Final environmental impact statement for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands crab fisheries. Chapter 3: Affected environment (pp. 1-262). National Marine Fisheries Service. August 2004. Juneau, Alaska.http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/crab/eis/final/Chapter3.pdf
  6. North Pacific Fishery Management Council, (NPFMC), 2008. Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs. North Pacific Fishery Management Council. December 2008. Anchorage, Alaska. 118 pp.http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/PDFdocuments/fmp/CRAFMP2008.pdf
  7. North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), 2011. Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Report for the King and Tanner crab fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Regions, Compiled by the Plan Team for the King and Tanner Crab Fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, 677 p.http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/PDFdocuments/resources/SAFE/CrabSAFE/CrabSAFE2011.pdf
  8. NPFMC, 2008. Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Report for the King and Tanner Crab Fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Regions. North Pacific Fishery Management Council. http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/membership/plan_teams/CPT/CRABSAFE2008.pdf
  9. Pengilly, D., 2011. Aleutian Islands Golden King Crab. In: North Pacific Fishery Management Council (ed.) Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Report for the king and tanner crab fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Regions. Anchorage. p. 513-546.http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/PDFdocuments/resources/SAFE/CrabSAFE/CrabSAFE2011.pdf
  10. Pengilly, D. 2013. Aleutian Islands Golden King Crab – 2013 Tier 5 Assessment May 2013 Crab SAFE Report Chapter (18 April 2013 Draft). Alaska Dept. Fish and Game.http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/PDFdocuments/membership/PlanTeam/Crab/May2013/AIGKC.docx
  11. State of Alaska. 2012. Title 5, Fish and Game, Part 1 Commercial and Subsistence Fishing and Private Nonprofit Salmon Hatcheries, Chapter 34: King Crab Fishery.http://www.legis.state.ak.us/
  12. NOAA. 2012. Golden King Crab, NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 2 pages.
  13. Siddeek, M.S.M., Pengilly, D., Zheng, J. 2011. Aleutian Islands Golden King Crab (Lithodes aequispinus) Model Based Stock Assessment in Fall 2011, North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 91 pages.
References

    Comments

    This tab will disappear in 5 seconds.

    Comments on:

    Golden king crab - Aleutian Islands

    comments powered by Disqus