This study of the deep-sea red snow crab Chionoecetes japonicus is based on materials that were collected from its poorly surveyed or earlier unknown habitats in the central Sea of Japan, including the KitaYamato Bank and the top of the Peter the Great Seamount, during a research cruise aboard the R/V Vladimir Safonov in April and May of 2012. The results are compared to the data of the previous studies aboard the fishing vessels Seisho-maru 68 (September and October 1992), Viera (May and June 2005), and the Arctic Orion (April and May 2007). The red snow crab stock on the Kita-Yamato Bank has declined by one-third within 2 decades. Both males and females formed the densest aggregations at depths of 800–1040 m. The total biomass of legal-sized 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 km2 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 Kita-Yamato Bank (males, 99.9 mm and females, 65.0 mm).
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 5, 2016
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