Red king crabs and Opilio crabs are caught in 600-800 pound metal pots that are baited with ground herring, sardines or cod before they are dropped 400 feet below the surface.
Since crabs do not appear on radar or migrate in the same pattern each year, captains must rely on their experience and intuition to find the best locations to fish.
Fishermen are allowed to harvest only adult male crab. All females and juveniles must be thrown back.
If a crab dies in the boat’s holding tank, it emits toxins that can poison the other crabs; one dead crab has the potential to wipe out the entire catch.