Stock Assessment Methods for the New England Deep-sea Red Crab (NOAA)

Developing Stock Assessment Methods for the New England Deep-sea Red Crab, Chaceon quinquedens

Participants: R. Wahle (Bigelow), Y. Chen (UMaine), J. Williams (Benthic Fishing, Inc.)

Funding agency: NOAA/Northeast Consortium; NOAA/Sea Grant; NOAA/Saltonstall-Kennedy Program

Funding Period: 2002-2005

Project Summary:

Deep Sea Red Crab

The objectives of this project were to: (1) Employ trawl- and camera-based sampling methodology established by early NMFS red crab surveys (Wigley et al. 1975, Mar. Fish. Rev. 37: 1-21) to determine whether abundance, size structure, and sex composition of the population has changed significantly at the same sites sampled in 1974, (2) Conduct sea sampling to better evaluate the spatial correlation between fishery-dependent data (catch per unit effort, catch per unit area) and fishery-independent estimates of abundance (trawl – camera data) for both harvestable and sub-harvestable crabs, (3) Conduct tagging to obtain much needed information on red crab growth rates and movement, and (4) Employ three stock assessment modeling approaches of different complexities (size-structured yield-per-recruit model, production model, and size-structured simulation model) to evaluate the dynamics of the red crab stock, estimate current status of the fishery, and evaluate alternative management strategies.


Northeast Fisheries Science Center. 2006. Section D. Assessment of deep-sea red crab. In: 43rd Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (43rd SAW): 43rd SAW assessment report. US Dep. Commer, Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent. Ref. Doc. 06-25. 400 pp.

Wahle, R.A., C.E. Bergeron, A. Chute, Y. Chen, L. Jacobson. 2008. Northwest Atlantic deep-sea red crab before and after the onset of harvesting. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 65:doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsn058