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AKCRRAB successfully rears Kodiak red king crab larvae

May 2013

AKCRRAB successfully rears Kodiak red king crab larvae

enriched artemiaKodiak red king crab, first juvenile, at the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery. (A. Beder) Click image for larger version [TIFF, 14 MB].

This year, 2013, marks the first in which wild-caught red king crab broodstock from Kodiak have been successfully used for larvae rearing. Until now, AKCRRAB had good results by rearing red king crab using broodstock only from Bristol Bay and Juneau. This diversification is an important step toward demonstrating that our methods work for a variety of red king crab stocks. Later this summer, the 2013 larval rearing protocols will be incorporated into a manual for hatchery production of red king crab larvae.

The Kodiak crab larvae were reared this spring at the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery by Asia Beder, University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student, and Jim Swingle, Alaska Sea Grant research biologist. The researchers reared larvae in six 1200 liter tanks, stocked at a density of 50 larvae per liter. Rearing temperature averaged 9 degrees C (48 degrees F), and larvae were fed a diet of microalgae (Chaetoceros muelleri and Thalassiosira weissflogii) and a San Francisco Bay strain of Artemia enriched with fatty acids (A1 DHA Selco). Survival from stocking to the glaucothoe stage averaged 59% and survival from stocking to the first juvenile crab stage averaged 34%. A total of 121,000 juveniles were produced.

This successful hatchery run would not have been possible without healthy egg-bearing female crabs. We thank Speridon (Mitch) Simeonoff, a Tribal leader from Akhiok, Alaska, for collecting the female broodstock and helping transport them safely to the NOAA lab in Kodiak and on to the hatchery in Seward. Mr. Simeonoff and other members of the Alaska Native Harbor Seal Commission visited the hatchery in April 2013, to observe hatchery operations and to see the larvae and juvenile crabs.

News Flash is edited by Asia Beder and Ginny Eckert. AKCRRAB is a research and rehabilitation project sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, NOAA Fisheries, the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery, community groups, and industry members.

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