The collapse of eastern Bering Sea snow crab
Szuwalski, Cody S. ; Aydin, Kerim ; Fedewa, Erin J. ; Garber-Yonts, Brian ; Litzow, Michael A.
Année de publication
<p align=justify>The snow crab is an iconic species in the Bering Sea that supports an economically important fishery and undergoes extensive monitoring and management. Since 2018, more than 10 billion snow crab have disappeared from the eastern Bering Sea, and the population collapsed to historical lows in 2021. We link this collapse to a marine heatwave in the eastern Bering Sea during 2018 and 2019. Calculated caloric requirements, reduced spatial distribution, and observed body conditions suggest that starvation played a role in the collapse. The mortality event appears to be one of the largest reported losses of motile marine macrofauna to marine heatwaves globally.</p>