Alaska expecting big bairdi, king crab harvest


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
October 16, 2014

Alaska fishermen will take to the icy waters and drop their traps today to kick off what is expected to be a banner harvest of king and snow (opilio, bairdi) crab.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has set quotas in the Bering Sea that are much higher than last year’s. Overall, an additional 28 million pounds of crab will be caught this season.

Fresh Alaska crab is already in the pipeline: The Aleutian Island golden king crab fishery opened 15 August with a total allowable catch of 6.29 million pounds; the Norton Sound red king crab fishery, which ran from June 25th to August 2nd and had a total commercial harvest of 385,821 pounds.

“It looks like the wave of bairdi we have been expecting has just turned into a tsunami,” said Jim Stone, former president of Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers. “Bairdi has long been the fishermen’s favorite crab, and now I think U.S. chefs and home cooks would be very welcoming to such a sweet flavored species they most likely know nothing of.” 

Stone added that Japan has historically been the largest market for bairdi.

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