Population structure of blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus) in the northwestern Bering Sea

Population structure of blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus) in the northwestern Bering Sea

M.V. Pereladov and D.M. Miljutin

Population structure of blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus) in the northwestern Bering SeaThis is part of Crabs in Cold Water Regions: Biology, Management, and Economics
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Description

In the northwestern part of the Bering Sea, large aggregations of blue king crab, Paralithodes platypus, are known from the Gulf of Olyutorsk to the Gulf of Anadyr. It is believed that these aggregations are portions of a single population. Maximum densities (12-21 individuals per trap) of commercial males were observed in winter at depths of 120-250 m during trapping and diving surveys in 1998-2000. Juveniles of both sexes (carapace width 21-49 mm) with densities of 7-12 individuals per m2 were found in Glubokaya Inlet at a depth of 15 m in summer. In summer, egg-bearing females were found along the coast at depths of 6-10 m, while mature females without eggs were caught at depths of 50-80 m. In winter, egg-bearing females were caught at depths of 130-180 m, while females without eggs were not caught at all. We concluded that the Olyutorsk-Navarinpopulation has three centers of reproduction: the Gulf of Anadyr, the area to the west of Cape Navarin, and the area of Natalia and Glubokaya inlets.

The total abundance of commercial male blue king crabs from the Gulf of Olyutorsk to Cape Navarin was approximately 3 million individuals in 2000.

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