The Norwegian Institute for Marine Research have advised for a slight increase in the red king crab quota for the Norwegian Zone in 2023. Photo: Vibeke Lund Pettersen/HI

The Norwegian Institute for Marine Research have advised for a slight increase in the red king crab quota for the Norwegian Zone in 2023. Photo: Vibeke Lund Pettersen/HI

Norwegian fisheries researchers at the Institute for Marine Research have advised for a slight increase in the red king crab quota in the Norwegian Zone for 2023.

The Institute of Marine Research advised that the total allowable catch for 2023 be set at 2,375 tonnes.  The quota for 2022 was set at 1845 tonnes.

The Institute (HI) says the total allowable catch is within the fishery’s management goals:

“The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries (NFD) has defined management goals for king crab management in and outside the quota-regulated area. Within: to maintain a long-term commercial fishery at the same time that the spread to the west is limited to a minimum. Outside: keep one as low as possible crab population through a free fishery.

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On the basis for the advice, HI say:

“The spread from the quota-regulated area is primarily dependent on the density of crab and will increase accordingly increasing stock. Low dispersal requires a low stock and fishing pressure should therefore be higher than what is typically used in fisheries management, where the sole aim is to maximize catches over time. When the stock is reduced through a relatively high fishing pressure, increasing the variation in recruitment and in potential yield in fishing, and thus the basis for a long-term fishery.

“There is therefore a trade-off between “small spread’ and a ‘stable and productive fishery’. NFD has not explicitly defined how the balance between spread rate and stability in fishing must be weighted. The Institute of Marine Research interprets the total the management target for population size as: the smallest population that is able over time to maintain a relatively stable output. This leads to the following prioritised measurable benchmarks as a basis for the advice.”

 

Quota regulated area

The Institute of Marine Research recommends that the total catch for 2023 in the quota-regulated area does not exceed 2,375 tonnes. This corresponds to a management target of a maximum 35% probability of fishing mortality exceeding F lim and a less than 10% probability of the stock falling below B lim . 

Alternative capture options:

Catch option 2023 (tonnes)

1750

2000

2250

2500

2750

3000

Probability of stock < B lim

<1%

1%

1%

2%

5%

8%

Probability of fishing mortality > F lim

6%

14%

26%

40%

59%

73%

Probability of population decline

49%

53%

60%

67%

78%

85%

Stock size (B/B msy), median

1.25

1.21

1.12

1.02

0.90

0.81

In a multi-year perspective, it is most likely that the catch level will have to be reduced. Expected long-term yield that meets the management goals is estimated at 900-1700 tonnes/year.

Other areas

The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research recommends that free fishing be maintained in order to reduce the rate of spread and secure the management goal of a low density of king crab west of the North Cape.

Closure period

The HI advises that the closure of fishing in the month of April should be maintained as a minimum for the protection of crabs in shell change.

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Norwegian Institute for Marine Research advises increase for king crab 2023

by editor time to read: 6 min
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