Red King Crab
The Commercial Fisheries Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) conducts stock assessment surveys for red king crab in seven areas throughout the state. Trawl surveys are conducted on an annual basis in the Kodiak area, annual or biennial in Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound, and triennial in Norton Sound. An annual pot survey is conducted in Southeast Alaska, and occasional pot surveys in the Pribilof Islands, and the Petrel Bank grounds in the central Aleutian Islands.
NOAA Fisheries conducts annual multi-species trawl surveys in the Eastern Bering Sea, including Bristol Bay. In 2007 and 2008 the Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation conducted several trawl surveys in Bristol Bay targeting red king crabs with a small mesh size trawl and 5-minute tows.
Besides population estimation, stock assessment surveys are used to gather life history information on red king crab. Over the years, life history studies have provided information on movement, growth, natural mortality, and fecundity among others. This helps to improve population modeling techniques which support sustainable management of stocks.