Ocean Life in Alaska

sable fish

Southern Tanner Crab
Chionoecetes bairdi

Where do Tanner crabs live?

Tanner crab live on the continental shelf of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea from Russia to Oregon. Off Alaska, they are most concentrated north of the Alaska Peninsula and near the Pribilof Islands. They live from subtidal depths down to 437 m.

What do Tanner crabs eat?

The diet of Tanner crabs depends on how old they are. Larvae feed primarily on phytoplankton. Juveniles and adults will eat almost anything including bivalves, polychaete worms, gastropods, crabs, shrimp, and fish.

How do Tanner crabs reproduce?

When they are ready to mate, female Tanner crab form high-density mating aggregations, or pods, consisting of hundreds of crab per pod. The reason for these pods may be for protection from predators or for attracting males for mating. Mating occurs every year from January through June. Females carry clutches of 30,000 to 400,000 eggs for about 1 year when the larvae spawn.