Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Crab, King Southern

©Monterey Bay Aquarium
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Crab Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Crab, Kani Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Crab, Blue Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Blue-Claw, Hardshell & Softshell Crab, Kani U.S. Pot
Crab, Blue Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Blue-Claw, Hardshell & Softshell Crab, Kani Chesapeake Bay Trotline
Crab, Dungeness Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Commercial, Market, Pacific Edible & San Francisco Crab Alaska Trap
Crab, Dungeness Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Commercial, Market, Pacific Edible & San Francisco Crab California, Oregon, Washington Trap
Crab, Imitation (Alaska Pollock) Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Imitation Lobster, Kanikama, Surimi Alaska Wild
Crab, Imitation (not Alaska Pollock) Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Imitation Lobster, Kanikama, Surimi Worldwide Wild
Crab, Jonah Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Atlantic Dungeness Crab U.S. Atlantic Wild
Crab, King Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Alaska King, Blue King, Golden King & Red King Crab, Kani U.S. Trap
Crab, King Red Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Blue King, Golden King, King & Red King Crab, Kani Russia Trap
Crab, King Southern Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. King & Southern Red King Crab, Centolla Argentina Pot,Trap
Crab, Kona Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Frog & Spanner Crab, Papa'i kualoa Hawaii Wild
Crab, Kona Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Frog & Spanner Crab Australia Wild
Crab, Snow Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Queen, Snow, Spider & Tanner Crab, Kani Eastern Bering Sea, U.S. Pot, Trap
Crab, Snow Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Queen, Snow, Spider & Tanner Crab, Kani Eastern Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Pot, Trap
Crab, Snow Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Queen, Snow, Spider & Tanner Crab, Kani Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada Pot, Trap
Crab, Stone Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Florida Stone & Gulf Stone Crab U.S. Atlantic, U.S. Gulf of Mexico Wild
Crab, Swimmer, Blue Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Swimming, Swimmer, Colossal, Jumbo Lump, Super Lump, Lump & Backfin Lump Crab China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines Pot, Bottom Gillnet, Bottom Trawl
Crab, Swimmer, Red Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Swimming, Swimmer, Colossal, Jumbo Lump, Super Lump, Lump & Backfin Lump Crab China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam Pot, Bottom Gillnet, Bottom Trawl


King Crab, Wild

Red king crab imported from Russia is rated as "Avoid" due to overfishing and illegal fishing. Look for U.S. king crab and Southern king crab from Argentina as "Good Alternatives."

Consumer Note

Southern king crab is being increasingly sold in the U.S. in place of Russian-caught red king crab which is a Seafood Watch "Avoid". It may be marketed simply as "king crab" and so buyers should ask where it comes from. King crab is known as kani when prepared as sushi.

Summary

King crab is found in cold oceans worldwide. Crab populations can vary widely from year to year, depending on ocean and weather conditions.

Trap fisheries are usually low in bycatch and do not cause significant harm to seafloor habitats. Any crabs caught that are too small to be legally sold can also be safely returned to the ocean.The two primary king crab populations in Alaska are healthy and abundant due to responsible fisheries management. Others have been closed to allow time to recover from previous overfishing.

Southern king crab caught by trap in Argentine waters is a "Good Alternative." Landings of southern king crabs have been increasing in recent years, but there are concerns about the numbers of crabs caught in other fisheries as bycatch. The level of bycatch in this trap fishery is very low, as the traps have escape rings to allow younger crabs to self-release.

Approximately half of all king crab sold in the U.S. market is imported from Russia, where it is fished in the Russian Far East and the Barents Sea. Far East king crab populations are at critically low levels, a situation made worse by regular overfishing and illegal fishing. In the Barents Sea, king crab was introduced in the 1960s. The crab has spread quickly and has become an invasive species that is seriously impacting the ecosystem. We recommend consumers "Avoid" imported red king crab and choose king crab from the U.S. or Southern king crab from Argentina.



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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat