Cancelled: No More Eating Alaskan Snow Or King Crabs In New York State?
First lobsters, now this. If you're a New Yorker who loves seafood, especially Alaskan snow or red king crabs, I've got some bad news for you. Alaska has cancelled its snow and red king crab seasons. Not that long ago, lobster lovers got word that the crustacean was also cancelled, of sorts.
No More Lobster At Restaurants In New York State?
Just about a month ago, an influential conservation group downgraded American lobster's rating, which may cause many retailers and restaurants to pull lobsters or drive prices up.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch updated lobster ratings for September 2022. American lobster previously had a 'good alternative' rating, but now has an 'avoid rating' from the group. The primary reason for the change is due to the threat lobster trapping poses to whales. According to the Boston Globe,
The lobster industry, about as close to an icon of New England as there is, has become embroiled in a maelstrom as conservation groups seek to protect the last 340 North Atlantic right whales.
Why Did Alaska Cancel Its Snow And Red King Crab Seasons?
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which manages, hunting and fishing in the state, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, they analyzed 2022 NMFS trawl survey results for Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay Red King Crab and there's just not enough of them,
The stock is estimated to be below the ADF&G regulatory threshold for opening a fishery. Therefore, Bering Sea snow crab will remain closed for the 2022/23 season.
The ADF&G said the exact same thing about Bristol Bay Red King Crab. According to CBS News, Alaska produced 60 percent of America's seafood. Officials with ADF&G say that the focus now is on conservation and rebuilding the stock.
With the cancellation of Alaskan snow and red king crab, prices for other types of crab are likely to go up. The lack of supply is coupled with food prices that continue to rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index data for September 2022,
The food index continued to rise, increasing 0.8 percent over the month as the food at home index rose 0.7 percent.
Food at home is up 11.2 percent and food away from home has increased by 13 percent (Unadjusted 12-months ended September 2022).
New York State does allow for commercial crabbing of blue crabs, but the New York Department of Environmental Conservation states that commercial crab fishery is a limited-entry fishery in the state.