The Safina Center

Koho salmon.Koho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Crab, Pacific Rock

Rock Crabs are found along the Pacific coast of North America from Alaska to Mexico on rocky reefs and soft substrate. They are short-lived and fast growing animals. This report evaluates the Oregon and California rock crab fisheries for three species: Red, Brown, and Yellow (California only) Rock Crabs.

Abundance of Rock Crabs is unknown because population assessments have not been conducted by either state. Annual catches in California exceed 1,000,000 pounds, while catches in Oregon average less than 3,000 pounds. The commercial Rock Crab fisheries are managed by California Department of Fish and Game and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Some management regulations are in place, but in the California fishery there is very limited monitoring of Rock Crabs to ensure their sustainability.

Baited trap gears are used in both fisheries, but Oregon uses a smaller light weight crab ring, while California uses traditional crab traps. The fishing method causes low to moderate damage to bottom habitats. The Oregon fishery has minimal impacts on non-target species or bycatch. In the California fishery, there are some concerns about the catches of Kellet’s Whelk, but new regulations were recently implemented to reduce fishing on this species.

Full species report here.