Friday, October 12, 2012

October opies

Oh man, I love October! From the changing leaves (which is the #1 thing I miss the most from Illinois [#2 is Lou Malnati's pizza]), to the pumpkin-flavored everything, to Halloween costumes, you just can't beat October!

these guys know what I'm talking about!
(OK, they're really celebrating the Aliwan Fiesta in the Philippines,
but I bet anyone could pull off that get-up for Halloween!)

Another exciting thing that comes with October is the snow crab fishery opening! The quota was decreased this year to 66.3 million pounds of crab from last year's nearly 90 million pounds. That's taking out about a quarter of the pounds from last year, but we have to remember that last year was an exciting one with a 64% raise in quota and the stock no longer declared overfished! So, while this year is going to be less profitable than last year for fishermen (and less tasty for snow crab munchers around the world), it will still be better than 2 years ago.

mature male biomass for commercial crab species caught
during the eastern Bering Sea trawl surveys

You may remember last year that I said we'd have to stay tuned to this fishery because of how variable the snow crab population can be any given year. In the graph above from a draft copy of this year's summer trawl survey, you can see how the snow crab biomass dipped down from 2011 to 2012, so the decrease in quota makes sense for this year's fishery: less mature males out there = less mature males to catch. Again, given the variable nature of the snow crab population, a decrease this year doesn't mean a decrease next year. With continued care of the fishery, it may very well increase, and at the very least be a healthy fishery for the following seasons! That will keep this kid happy:

and isn't that what fishery management is all about?

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