ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2015, Vol. 41, No. 7, pp. 571–579. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2015.
Original Russian Text © A.N. Dyominov, 2015, published in Izvestiya TINRO.
The deepsea Japanese, or red snow crab
is a commercial crab species that is
widely distributed and abundant in the bathyal zone of
the Sea of Japan.
It is considered one of the most important items of
commercial fishery in Japan, the Republic of Korea, and
the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Since the
1960s, the Yamato Rise in the central Sea of Japan,
including the Yamato Bank and KitaYamato Bank, has
been used as a red snow crab fishing ground .
In Russian waters, crab boats from Japan, which
were supervised by Russian authorities from the
Agency for Fisheries and Conservation of Aquatic
Biological Resources (Rybvod) and the Pacific
Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography
(TINRO), began fishing for this deepsea crab on the
KitaYamato Bank in 1988. Fishing operations ceased
there in 1994 and have not been resumed. Within the
period from 1988 to 1993, observers from TINRO
periodically collected biological materials in order to
evaluate the status of the red snow crab stock in this
Two decades later, in 2012, a survey catch with traps
was performed on the KitaYamato Bank. At the same
time, surveys were conducted on the top of the Peter
the Great Seamount, within the area that is encircled
by the 3000 m isobath.
The comprehensive data on the distribution, biol
ogy, and resources of the red snow crab, which is now
sufficient, mainly covers the traditional grounds of its
harvesting in the southern and western Sea of Japan
[22, 36, 38, 39].
It still remains unknown if the distribution range of
the red snow crab in the bathyal zone of the Sea of
Japan is continuous, or if it forms spaced aggregations
. All these questions require longterm observa
tions and dedicated studies that should be conducted
as well in new and poorly surveyed habitats of this crab.
The goal of this work was to study the size/sex
structure, biological status, distribution, and stock of
red snow crab in the bathyal zone of the central Sea of
Japan using the published and the newly collected
MATERIALS AND METHODS
In April and May 2012, survey catches with traps
were conducted from aboard the R/V
in Russian waters on the KitaYamato Bank at
depths within 390–1190 m, as well as on the top of the
Peter the Great Seamount at depths within 1080–
1250 m (Fig. 1).
The Peter the Great Seamount is situated at the
base of the continental slope in the Peter the Great
Bay. It is elongated longitudinally and rises as high as
2000 m above the surrounding basin . The mount
The Results of Studies of the Red Snow Crab
from the Bathyal Zone of the Central Sea of Japan
A. N. Dyominov
Pacific Research Fisheries Center, per. Shevchenko 4, Vladivostok, 690091 Russia
Received June 16, 2014
—This study of the deepsea red snow crab
is based on materials that were
collected from its poorly surveyed or earlier unknown habitats in the central Sea of Japan, including the Kita
Yamato Bank and the top of the Peter the Great Seamount, during a research cruise aboard the R/V
in April and May of 2012. The results are compared to the data of the previous studies aboard the
(September and October 1992),
(May and June 2005), and the
(April and May 2007). The red snow crab stock on the KitaYamato Bank has declined by onethird
within 2 decades. Both males and females formed the densest aggregations at depths of 800–1040 m. The
total biomass of legalsized males in 2012 is estimated at 7400 t. The first data on red snow crab that inhabit
the top of Peter the Great Seamount show that its total biomass over the area of 1.5 km
is 14 t. The mean
carapace size of crabs from the Peter the Great Seamount is smaller (males, 83.0 mm and females, 58.6 mm)
than that of individuals from the KitaYamato Bank (males, 99.9 mm and females, 65.0 mm).
: red snow crab, biomass, carapace size, KitaYamato Bank, Peter the Great Seamount