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All About Alaskan King Crab Season

Allie Moxley asked:

Most Alaskan seafood is available frozen all-year round, however the Alaskan king crab season corresponds to when Alaskan king crab is actually harvested. The most popular harvesting months are between October and January. The actual season, when crabbers are allowed to catch crabs, can last as little as four days, but can also range from one week to two weeks. Once harvested, it takes about one week to move the crabs from the Bering Sea to local markets.

Harvesting Alaskan king crab is an incredibly difficult job, combining a short season, violent and unpredictable waters, 20 hours shifts, and loads of up to a ton. Until recently the crabbing industry worked under a derby style season, but after the 2005 season transitioned to a quota system. The quota system, or rationalization, was a response to the dangers of having a very short season with many boats all vying and competing for crabs. The quota system is to encourage a more relaxed work pace, though many smaller boats, with smaller quotas, could no longer compete with larger boats and larger quotas.

Catches are also down from previous years, and due to an influx of foreign caught crab, higher prices may be on the horizon. However, when considering the dangers of the Alaskan king crab season, how brief a season it really is, any nominal rise of prices is worth the sweet meat of such a laborious effort.

As mentioned in recent years there has been a flood of foreign caught crab, but for consumers interested in sustainability, it should be noted that foreign crab is often caught without much regulation. When thinking of a natural, sustainable, and fresh choice for crab, look no further than your neighbor to the north, and buy Alaskan King Crab, and to get it freshest, buy it close to the end of the Alaskan king crab season.


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