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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-235

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The 2011 Eastern Bering Sea continental shelf bottom trawl survey: Results for commercial crab species

Abstract

The eastern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey has been conducted annually since 1975 by the Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering Division of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service. The purpose of this survey is to collect data on the distribution and abundance of crab, groundfish, and other benthic resources in the eastern Bering Sea. These data are used to estimate population abundances for the management of commercially important species in the region. In 2011, 376 standard stations were sampled on the eastern Bering Sea shelf and 20 stations were resampled in Bristol Bay at the end of the standard survey to account for female red king crab maturity. The 2011 biomass estimates reported in metric tons (t) and pounds (lb) with 95% confidence intervals (± 1.96 SE) for legal-sized males of commercial crab stocks in the eastern Bering Sea were as follows: 
                                                           

Commercial Crab Species 2011 Legal-sized Male     Biomass (± 95% CI) *
Bristol Bay District red king crab
     (Paralithodes camtschaticus)
15,412 (5,238) t 33,977,299.61 (11,547,788.81) lb
Pribilof District red king crab
     (P. camtschaticus)
3,751 (4,787) t 8,269,046.58 (10,554,038.49) lb
Pribilof District blue king crab
     (P. platypus)
399 (693) t 879,573.20 (1,528,179.24) lb
St. Matthew Island Section blue king crab
     (P. platypus)
5,788 (5,555) t 12,759,351.83 (12,246,469.72) lb
Southern Tanner crab
     (Chionoecetes bairdi), east 166° W
10,207 (5,880) t 22,503,103.69 (12,964,143.55) lb
Southern Tanner crab, east 166° W
     ≥ 5.5 inches
5,356 (4,344) t 11,807,249.93 (10,109,706.61) lb
Southern Tanner crab, west 166° W 23,278 (16,729) t 51,319,174.78 (36,880,898.03) lb
Southern Tanner crab, west 166° W
     ≥ 5.0 inches
15,676 (13,672) t 34,560,932.62 (35,029,759.51) lb
Snow crab, all Districts (C. opilio) 146,297 (32,652) t 322,525,931.00 (71,984,466.52) lb
Snow crab, all Districts, ≥ 4.0 inches 94,763 (22,025) t 208,915,452.54 (48,556,399.29) lb
* Differences in metric ton biomass estimates compared to pound biomass estimates are due to rounding errors.


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