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What’s Happening:  Snow and Tanner Crab Growth Study, Dutch Harbor, Alaska, 2016

May 18 to May 24

Sharing our science with students

Note: all photos credit NOAA Fisheries 

Students gather around crab
Students gather around a molted crab

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  April 11-18
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  May 13-17
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Jeff and I were given the opportunity to participate in Dockside Discovery Days, an event hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and the Unalaska City School District. This annual, all-day event brings students from 1st to 6th grades out from the classroom to a local boat harbor where they learn about marine life, water safety and local marine industries. This year’s event was coordinated by Melissa Good (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Sea Grant, Marine Advisory Program) and included the following programs:

Dockside Marine Organisms- Unalaska Divers Association (UDA) members brought up marine organisms from the sea for the kids to hold and observe. UDA members, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the Alaska Wildlife Troopers assisted dockside in identification and critter handling.

Scuba diver
Scuba diver brings students an organism to hold and observe


Scuba Gear- An introduction to scuba gear was provided by Unalaska Divers Association members.

Kids Don't Float- City of Unalaska Port of Dutch Harbor - Harbor Masters conduct this program to teach kids water safety and how to properly wear a life jacket.

Crab Growth– NOAA Fisheries and the Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation provided crab molting and biology information, as well as hands-on experience with live crabs.

Students hold crab
Students holding live crab


UniSea Dockside Tour– A representative from the seafood processing company, UniSea Inc., provided a tour.

Vessel Tour- James Dunlap provided a tour of a tug boat operated by American President Lines (APL).

Marine Debris- Qawalangin Tribe provided information about marine debris and the effects in the environment.

Fisherman Games– Melissa Good included activities throughout the day.

Lastly, we finished the growth study at the end of May and we are excited to analyze the results. Many of the Tanner and snow crabs molted over the course of this study and we will use the analyzed data in future crab stock assessments. We also shipped live snow crab from Dutch Harbor to the NOAA Fisheries Kodiak Lab (Alaska Fisheries Science Center) to continue with the growth study in hopes of collecting additional data.

By Christie Lang, NOAA Fisheries scientist
Christie Lang


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