Shellfish Assessment Program - Survey & Assessment: Current Research
Stocks that NOAA Fisheries are responsible for assessing are covered by the Bering Sea/Aleution
Islands King and Tanner Crab Fishery Management Plan
Annual Eastern Bering Sea Crab/Groundfish Survey
|Hair crab, Erimacrus isenbeckii
The NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) conducts an annual trawl survey in the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) to determine the
distribution and abundance of crab and groundfish resources.
Crabs surveyed include southern Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi), snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio),
two stocks of blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus), red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)
and hair crab (Erimacrus isenbeckii).
These surveys are conducted in three legs throughout the summer with two vessels dedicated to each leg.
The EBS survey is augmented every year by the addition of special projects.
The cumulative data collected during each annual survey help fisheries managers regulate commercial crab
fishing activities. An annual report (Technical Memorandum) is prepared from the data:
The 2016 Eastern
Bering Sea Continental Shelf Bottom Trawl Survey: Results for Commercial Crab Species. (.pdf, 26 MB)
The annual report is prepared from the data collected and plan team meetings are held to discuss the stock
assessment and fishery management plans.
Evaluation reports are drafted
for each fishery management plan.
The Interactive Data Map is a
tool to view commercially important crab species from 1975. This map represents the catch per unit effort from
eastern Bering Sea shelf bottom trawl surveys.
|Eastern Bering Sea Crab Survey Map.
Click to open.
Small-Mesh Nearshore Gulf of Alaska Trawl Survey
This survey has been conducted with standard methods since 1972 by staff from the
Shellfish Assessment Program in collaboration with the
Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and is the
longest continuous annual survey of its type in the North Pacific.
This time series has been instrumental in describing ecological change in the Gulf of Alaska following the
1976 climate regime shift in the North Pacific and in describing ecological response to more recent climate
Crab Ecosystem Indicator Development
|Example report card for Bristol Bay red king crab. Arrows to the left of
each indicator indicates how the mean of the previous five years compares to the long-term average and
how the previous five years are trending. Click image to enlarge.
The Shellfish Assessment Program is developing stock-specific ecosystem indicators for commercially
important eastern Bering Sea crab species.
The indicators are meant to provide detailed information and updates on the status of the ecosystem components
for each crab stock. The indicators are also meant to provide early signals that might warrant management
Each crab stock will have a set of spatially explicit indicators summarized in the form of a "report card",
which will be updated annually with survey data.
The goal of report card development is to help guide stock assessment models to better estimate crab population
Stock-specific report cards and general description of each ecosystem indicator will be included as
part of future annual Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Reports compiled by the North Pacific Fisheries
Management Councils Crab Plan Team.
Shellfish Assessment Program - Survey & Assessment PAST
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