Crab Season Is Axed, but Deadliest Catch Will Go On

Producers say captains will seek other catches
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2022 6:35 PM CDT
Closure of Crab Fishery Won't Sink Deadliest Catch
In this photo provided by the Discovery Channel, Brian Greer sorts Alaskan crabs in an episode of "Deadliest Catch," the network's hit reality series.   (AP Photo/Discovery Channel, Corey Arnold, File)

The snow crab season in Alaska has been canceled but producers say the move won't scuttle hit Discovery reality show Deadliest Catch, which is now in its 18th season. Producers say the show's 19th season will involve other, presumably less deadly, catches. "Fans can anticipate another great season of Deadliest Catch where we will document our captains as they participate in other sustainable Bering Sea crab and pot fisheries, such as Golden King Crab, Bairdi and Cod," executive producer Arom Starr-Paul said in a statement to Deadline. Authorities have also closed the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery for a second year in a row. Last year's closure was a plot line in the show's 18th season, Deadline notes.

Authorities cited overfishing as the reason for the closure of the snow crab fishery, though they say it is a technical term related to size levels and climate change, not overfishing, appears to be the main cause of the drastic decline in the snow crab population. "Snow crab is by far the most abundant of all the Bering Sea crab species that is caught commercially," Benjamin Daly, a researcher with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, tells CNN. "So the shock and awe of many billions missing from the population is worth noting—and that includes all the females and babies." He says the number of snow crabs plunged from 8 billion in 2018 to 1 billion in 2021, with a further 40% drop in the number of mature male snow crabs between 2021 and 2022. (Read more Deadliest Catch stories.)

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