Preliminary Analysis of Spermathecal Load of Primiparous Snow Crabs (Chionoecetes opilio) from the Eastern Bering Sea, 2005-2008

Preliminary Analysis of Spermathecal Load of Primiparous Snow Crabs (Chionoecetes opilio) from the Eastern Bering Sea, 2005-2008

L.M. Slater, K.A. MacTavish, and D. Pengilly

Preliminary Analysis of Spermathecal Load of Primiparous Snow Crabs (Chionoecetes opilio) from the Eastern Bering Sea, 2005-2008This is part of Biology and Management of Exploited Crab Populations under Climate Change
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Description

Male snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) are harvested commercially in the eastern Bering Sea. Female snow crab possess sperm storage organs and can store sperm for successive clutch fertilization, a feature that could buffer the stock from recruitment overfishing by the males-only fishery. To better understand factors affecting reproductive potential of eastern Bering Sea snow crab, sperm reserves were assessed for primiparous crab in 2005, 2007, and 2008 through measurements of spermathecal load (SL). Area of collection and female size had significant effects on SL, and interactions existed between SL, area of collection, female size, and year. Patterns of female sperm reserves in the eastern Bering Sea underscore the importance of understanding the effects of spatial processes on the eastern Bering Sea snow crab stock.

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