United States: a billion snow crabs have disappeared in Alaska, the fishing season canceled

Where have the millions of snow crabs that usually inhabit the Bering Sea in Alaska gone? Several American media, such as CBS News and CNN are asking the question, as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game canceled the snow crab fishing season for the first time on Monday, October 10. In two years, about a billion crabs have disappeared, according to local authorities, a drop of 90% in their population.

“Did they run north?”

Among the species fished commercially in this area, snow crab has long been one of the most abundant. Hence the surprise and concern of fishing professionals (fishermen, restaurateurs, etc.) and scientists. “Did they run north to swim in colder water?” asks Gabriel Prout, whose fishing business depends on snow crabs.

“Environmental conditions change rapidly”Ben Daly, a researcher with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, tells CBS. “We’ve seen warm conditions in the Bering Sea for the past two years, and we’re seeing the response of a cold-adapted species, so it’s pretty obvious that it’s related.”

Even though scientists don’t have enough data to validate this hypothesis, temperatures around the Arctic are warming four times faster than the rest of the globe, due to climate change.. Species that live in cold waters are therefore directly threatened.

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