Many New Yorkers love their crab dishes, including dips, cakes, boils, gumbo, and even Rangoon. But crabs could be canceled from menus in the near future.

Start Of Snow Crab Fishing Season In Japan
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Alaska Canceled Its Snow And Red King Crab Seasons

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which manages, hunting and fishing in the state, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, they analyzed 2022 NMFS trawl survey results for Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay Red King Crab and there's just not enough of them,

The stock is estimated to be below the ADF&G regulatory threshold for opening a fishery. Therefore, Bering Sea snow crab will remain closed for the 2022/23 season.

The ADF&G said the exact same thing about Bristol Bay Red King Crab. According to CBS News, Alaska produced 60 percent of America's seafood. Officials with ADF&G say that the focus now is on conservation and rebuilding the stock.

New York State does allow for commercial crabbing of blue crabs, but the New York Department of Environmental Conservation states that commercial crab fishery is a limited-entry fishery in the state.

The reason behind Alaska shutting down its 2022 Snow and Red King Crab seasons may be attributed to climate change, like what is happening to Dungeness crabs, according to a new study.

Researchers Found That Climate Change Amy Be Behind A Decrease In Dungeness Crabs

California's Dungeness Crab Seasons Starts
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The issue boils down to climate change and global warming (I know some people reading this may claim they're hoaxes, but scientists say something different based on facts, not opinions). A new study from Canada indicates that the number of Dungeness crabs in oceans is decreasing thanks to the environmentally damaging effects of climate change. According to the abstract of the research from a team at the University of Toronto published in the science journal, Global Change Biology,

Accelerated ocean acidification from elevated CO2 threatens the ability of crabs to detect and respond to important olfactory-related cues. Here, we demonstrate that the ecologically and economically important Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) exhibits reduced olfactory-related antennular flicking responses to a food cue when exposed to near-future CO2 levels, adding to the growing body of evidence of impaired crab behaviour. Underlying this altered behaviour, we find that crabs have lower olfactory nerve sensitivities (twofold reduction in antennular nerve activity) in response to a food cue when exposed to elevated CO2.

To translate into laymen's terms, increased carbon monoxide levels in the atmosphere are forcing oceans to absorb more carbon monoxide. This is causing oceans to become more acidic. The acidity has a trickle-down effect on Dungeness crabs. It has impaired the crabs' sense of smell, which then affects their ability to find food, mates, habitats, and avoid predators. All of that is reducing crab populations, which means less crab to be consumed by hungry New Yorkers.

One of the researchers, Dr. Porteus, told Talker,

Losing their sense of smell seems to be climate -related, so this might partially explain some of the decline in their numbers. If crabs are having trouble finding food, it stands to reason females won’t have as much energy to produce eggs.

What's really sad is that so many people don't believe climate change is real and probably won't until they are completely banned from eating crab or their favorite seafood due to potential extinction. By that time, it will surely be too late.

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