Crabs 1 Trawlers 0

A specially set-up and cleverly named company, CrabCo began an “experimental expedition” to test the feasibility of commercially harvesting two deep water crabs, the king crab and the red, or chaceon, crab. The aptly-named trawler Perseverance has pursuing these crabs for the past five days. But things did not go well.

We’d have liked to have brought in 1.5 tonnes as that’s what we need [to make it viable]. However, after laying some 240 pots, on long-lines of 70 pots to a line over the past week in rough seas, the return was just 150kgs

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

3 Replies to “Crabs 1 Trawlers 0”

  1. I don’t see the crabs winning if there was none to catch. Or is there an abundance already seen in those waters?

  2. Given that just about every other large-ish deep-water organism I know of breeds very slowly, is there a reason to believe that these deep-water crabs are different? If they are not known to reproduce reasonably quickly, isn’t it just another f***ing stupid idea to harvest them commercially, given that you can drive slow-breeding populations to the brink of collapse in just a few years?

    Do they care? –No, wait, I don’t think you have to answer that.

  3. You are right that “very other large-ish deep-water organism…breeds very slowly” including crabs (compared to shallow water crabs).

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