Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Blue King Crab Has Returned

Blue king crab                              Image via WikipediaBy Prince Das

There are over 40 different species of King Crab. Those that are fished around the waters in Alaska are the Red King, Blue King, and Golden King. As of the end of 1990 the population of the Blue King Crab (Paralithodes Platypus) had almost disappeared and fisheries were closing as of 1999. How is it that the Blue King Crab has returned?

Commercial fishing for crabs started in and about 1960 close to the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. Fishing peaked in 1980 and then in 1995 there had been a decline of around 92 percent. In 1998 since there were very few crab left in the ocean commercial fishing was banned.

Because of the declining population a rehabilitation study was begun to establish perfect conditions in order to learn the cultivation of the larvae starting from point A, hatching, to point B, juvenile. In 2006 fisherman were fishing crabs for this program. It was important to very carefully document all stages of life, what the crab ate, the ideal temperature, and how long they lived. They were triumphant in their study. The Blue King Crab has returned!

One hundred and fifty thousand eggs are produced by one female during her two-year phase of reproducing young. The eggs are attached to her abdomen for a year and when the hatching of the larvae occurs the female will not mate for another year. Crabs were prefect test subjects because embryos are located in such an accessible area.

Years of investigation brought success in the fall of 2009 when the supply in the ocean was beginning to increase. The fishermen returned to work and the crabs had returned.

They have a reputation of being the biggest ever with one of the claws, the right, being huge. Royal blue streaks the brown colored shell. After being cooked you will find that they become a startling red orange color. The largest known specimen was over 17 pounds found close to the St. Matthew Islands.

What does it take to have 10 pounds of crab? They are graded according the to number of legs to make up the weight. Ten pounds would be from six to nine legs. The succulent taste is similar to the Red King Crab. The Red is thought to have the best flavor. The taste is quite mild, sweet, and tender.

To capture the superior wonderful taste it is cooked and frozen before you buy it. Thaw it in your refrigerator for about 12 hours and use your best recipe to prepare it.

The Blue King Crab Has Returned! The fishermen and the diners are equally happy and all have a delightful smile on their faces.

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