Notes from the Island Fishmonger: November

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We are fine here, despite snow-crab mystery

By Scott Dolan

The Alaskan snow crab season has come to a mysterious halt for this upcoming crab legs harvest.

Officials investigated the disappearance of an estimated billion crabs and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, for the first time in history, has canceled the winter snow crab season in the Bering Sea due to falling numbers and missing product.

Scientists worry about what that sudden population plunge means for the health of the Arctic ecosystems.

That staggering billion-number of crabs have mysteriously disappeared the last two years, state officials say. That marks a 90% drop in the population. Are we talking missing containers from fishing ports, or did the crabs run up north for colder water?

Did they completely cross the border into Russia? Did they walk off the continental shelf on the edge there, over the Bering Sea? Sounds like questions for William Shatner of the UnXplained.

Regardless of the situation, crab-leg lovers around the world will feel the pinch of the absence of both Alaskan snow crab and king crab legs that have already had to bounce back from a recent border restriction. Hopefully, Canada is not impacted as much by this disappearance in the Bering Sea, as it would definitely provide a more bountiful catch for the USA.

Good thing that in Florida we have our own crabs, a supply that will not be affected by this shortage. The state of the union for Florida stone crab season is strong. We will be eating our precious stone crabs until May while we figure out and correct the mystery of the missing crabs.

Big Water Fish Market has plenty of Canadian crab legs available, despite the global mystery regarding the crabs in Alaska. (submitted photo)
Scott Dolan
Author: Scott Dolan

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