Closing Thought–31Aug22

If you visit many buffets these days one of the big draws is crab….Dungeness, King, Snow, Blue and Stone….all you can eat for 19.95….but sadly like the Atlantic Cod the King and Snow crabs are getting scarce….

Where did the Alaskan king and snow crabs go? The tasty crustaceans have all but vanished from their usual haunts within safe range of Alaska’s crabbing fleet. Per the Washington Post,king crabs—by far the larger of the two species—have been in decline for years, but the industry was unprepared for the sudden collapse of the snow crab population. Commercial crabbers, including many small business owners, went deep into debt in anticipation of a great 2021 snow crab harvest. Those expectations were based on 2018–19 surveys showing record populations of juveniles; but when 2021 rolled around, the stock of mature snow crabs was down by some 90% compared to prior years.

The state sharply reduced the allowable snow crab harvest from 45 million to 5.5 million pounds, but fishers didn’t even get that much. Many now face bankruptcy or are looking for creative ways to make ends meet. Meanwhile, there was no 2021 season for king crabs, and the state will announce what’s in store for 2022 on Oct. 15. Per the Anchorage Daily News, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is also developing a “snow crab rebuilding plan,” which it is on track to unveil in December. In any event, the outlook seems grim, not only for crabbers but also for dozens of remote, indigenous villages in western Alaska, where crab processing is the only economic game around.

The Bering Sea has experienced several straight years of above-average temperatures, and while scientists aren’t sure of the exact reasons for the mass crab die-off, temperature seems to be key. Higher temps could make crabs more vulnerable to parasites or predators like cod, which shy from frigid waters. In any case, the decline is dramatic in both scale and speed. Mike Litzow, director of the National Marine Fisheries Service lab in Kodiak, refers to it as the “borealization” of the Bering Sea, which, like the nearby boreal forests, is rapidly transforming due to climate change.

Climate change claims another victim….

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7 thoughts on “Closing Thought–31Aug22

  1. Here is something to think about …. The King and Snow crabs will go extinct …and then as climate change continues, other foods will start declining and eventually disappearing, one-by-one, until every edible thing on earth will either be unfit for consumption because of pollution or completely gone because of climate change. Right now, we are losing our oceans, our lakes and streams severely affecting safe drinking water supplies. This is not a transient happening. This will become worse and worse as the seasons come and go. The day will come when edible goods will be displayed in glass cases in establishments that look like jewelry stores and the prices on the goods that are displayed will be commensurate with jewelry prices.

    For example, such a store will have, in its display case, a single prime grade pork chop, fresh and pink and in rare and limited quantity for only $250.00 each. Thew Five available loaves of fresh bread left in the store will carry price tags of $110.00 apiece and other food items will be limited to availability by prescription from a doctor only … some of the proteins will fall into this category. Some other food items such as cereals will be available in packages containing only one cup of product with a price tag of $25.00 (Limit Two to a customer).

    Grocery stores will only open Two days per week from Noon until 2:00 PM.

    Drinking water will come in large plastic bottles and will carry a price tag comparable to a bottle of fine champagne today.

    These are not panic prognostications. These are being set into motion right now.

  2. Sad, shocking but not surprising – the impact of climate change doesn’t matter to most until a hurricane arrives at the stranger time, parts of our country are flooding while others are completely dried up – and our food sources are changing rapidly and never for the better….but nothing is done until a crisis hits.

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