The Bering Sea is home to a species of crab called the Alaskan King Crab. also referred to as Red King Crab, Kamchatka Crab, and Alaskan King Crab. It is the world’s largest species of crab. The weight of an Alaskan king crab can reach 12.7 kg. Alaskan King Crabs caught while crab fishing in the Bering Sea weigh on average 2.9 kg. Crab males are bigger than female crabs. If they are not hunted, Alaska king crabs have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. King crabs from Alaska can survive in water that is between -1.8°C and 12.8°C. From the age of two, crabs live in waters between 20 and 50 meters deep, whereas young crabs prefer to live in shallow waters where nutrients are more abundant and dangers are less.
A species with high commercial value is the Alaskan king crab. It is arguably the most economically significant animal in Alaska. Approximately 900,000 tons of Alaskan king crab have been caught by American fishermen since 1959, bringing in $1.6 billion in revenue. In order to save this commercially valuable crab species from extinction, the hunting season is kept very brief. The best time to go hunting is between October and January. However, in recent years, the season period has been set up to be between 2 and 4 weeks in total in order to prevent the extinction of the crab species. Additionally, a quota for the maximum number of crabs that can be caught by each fishing boat has been established since 2005. These practices caused the number of crab fishing boats to drop from 251 to 89. The boats used for crab fishing are very big, ranging in length from 12 to 75 meters, due to the rough seas. Approximately 300 kg worth of wire cages are thrown into the water in order to catch crabs. The boats’ cranes pull the abandoned baskets back after a while, allowing the crabs inside to be collected. An average of 150 to 300 wire cages are loaded onto boats before they set sail.
In the 1990s, Alaskan king crab fishing was regarded as one of the riskiest jobs in the world. During crab fishing, 7 fishermen per year on average lost their lives. This figure is quite high as a percentage given that there aren’t many sailing boats. Usually, suffocation or hypothermia brought on by extreme cold resulted in death. Due to the short hunting season, working too quickly and for too long was the main cause of death. Only one fisherman has died in the last six fishing seasons as a result of the state’s recent implementation of strict controls and regulations. Fishermen who work on boats can make between $20,000 and $50,000 per month despite all these risks. On the other hand, boat owners can turn a net profit of $200,000 annually after expenses. King crab hunting is a significant source of revenue for Alaska.