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Uploaded on Tuesday 21 Feb 2012 by GRID-Arendal

Red king crab native and invasive distribution

Year: 2010 Author: Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
The red king crab is native to the Okhotsk and Japan Seas, the Bering Sea, and the northern Pacific Ocean, where it is an important economic resource. In Alaskan waters, red king crabs have historically been the second most valuable species to fishermen after salmon, although since the 1980s overharvesting has led to the closure of some areas to fishing. The king crab also has an invasive distribution in the Barents Sea. Since its introduction in the 1960s, the population has increased steadily and expanded its range, which now spans from Sørøya, Norway in the west and Kolguev Island, Russia in the east, and to about 72° north. Given the current state of knowledge on the impacts of red king crab on native benthic communities and fishes, it is difficult to draw any precise conclusions on the threat caused to the Barents Sea ecosystem and impact on native benthic communities.
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