ISSN 1063-0740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2008, Vol. 34, No. 6, pp. 374–383. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
Original Russian Text © N.V. Sherbakova, E.N. Drobyazin, O.M. Korn, 2008, published in Biologiya Morya.
The red king crab
sius, 1815) is a valuable commercial species. The
poorly controlled ﬁshing of red king crab that has
existed in Peter the Great Bay since 1874 has repeat-
edly led to overﬁshing of its stock, which has entailed
ﬁshing bans. The last such ban has been in place from
2002 to the present . Rational exploitation of the
species in the future is impossible without research on
the modern state of the Primorye population of the red
king crab and assessment of its natural reproduction.
In the coastal waters of Russia, seven local popula-
tions of red king crab have been revealed, viz., the Pri-
morye, Ayan–Shantar, South and North Kuril, West
Kamchatka, and Karagin ones. In Alaskan waters,
Alaskan and Bristol populations have been distin-
guished. Introduction of the red king crab into the Bar-
ents Sea induced an increase of the Barents Sea popu-
lation . However, while the reproductive biology
and larval development of this crab species have been
well studied as a whole in the areas of West Kamchatka,
Sakhalin and Kuriles, east of the Bering Sea and in the
Barents Sea [10, 19, 22], no new data on Peter the Great
Bay is available. In particular, the conditions of the
occurrence of red king crab larvae in recent publica-
tions are cited either after Vinogradov , or after
Navozov–Lavrov, 1927 .
The objective of our work is research on the repro-
ductive biology of the Primorye population of the red
king crab, including determination of the size of mature
females, their fecundity, stages of egg maturation, and
study of the larval period and distribution of larvae in
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Data from the trawling surveys of the TINRO-Cen-
ter conducted on board the
seiner in Peter the Great Bay area in June–September
2002–2005 were used as material. There were 109 sta-
tions in 2002, 117 in 2003, and 123 in 2004 and 2005.
The trawlings were carried by a 23.2–meter bottom
trawl of the DT/TV type with a soft foot rope and
30 mm mesh in the cod end; the duration of a trawling
was 10–30 min.
The occurrence of females with eggs and their
fecundity were estimated for each size group at 10 mm
intervals. The correlation between the ratio of females
BIOLOGY OF ONTOGENESIS
Peculiarities of Reproductive Biology and Larval Development
of the Red King Crab
in Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan
N. V. Sherbakova
, E. N. Drobyazin
, O. M. Korn
Paciﬁc Scientiﬁc Research Fisheries Center (TINRO Center), Vladivostok 690950;
E-mail: suhin@ tinro.ru
Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041, Russia
Received May 16, 2008
—Based on materials from trawling (2002–2005) and plankton (2004–2006) surveys, some problems of the
reproduction biology of the red king crab
(Tilesius, 1815) population from Peter the Great
Bay are considered. It was shown that the width of the carapace varied from 105 to 190 mm in female red king crabs
with eggs; 50% of the females reached maturity with a carapace width of 112.8 mm. The average individual absolute
fecundity of females was 200000 (114000–296000) eggs. A direct linear correlation between fecundity and female
carapace width was recorded. The zoeas I–IV of the red king crab occurred in the plankton from the middle of April
up to the end of the second decade of May at water temperatures from 2.8 up to 9.3
C. The periods of larval occur-
rence in plankton in various years correlated with the water temperature, with a temperature decrease, the duration of
the pelagic period increased. No direct correlation was revealed between the phytoplankton bloom and larval release.
The density of red king crab larvae in Peter the Great Bay did not exceed 0.02–13.3 spec./m
. The maximum
concentration of zoeas was recorded in the central part of Ussuriysky Bay.
red king crab,
, larvae, Sea of Japan, plankton, reproduction biology.