Crab Fishing Facts

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The Harvest

  • According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the red king crab fishery is Alaska's top shellfish fishery.
  • Since 1959, when Alaska became a state, nearly 2 billion pounds of red king crab worth $1.6 billion have been harvested from Alaska's waters, making red king crabs the second most valuable species to fishers during this period (red salmon being the most valuable).
  • Crab quotas vary each year, depending on population size. In 2004, the harvest was 15.4 million pounds of red king crab, 5.7 million pounds of golden king crab and 20.4 million pounds of snow crab.
  • At $4.70 per pound, the 2004 catch of red king crab was worth $65.8 million at the dock.

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