Researching to improve our ability to forecast landings based on pre-season crab surveys, improving the economic health of the fishery.
Will White, Assistant Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, College of Agricultural Sciences
Sarah Henkel, Associate Professor, Senior Research, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Integrative Biology
Francis Chan, Associate Professor, Department of Integrated Biology, College of Science
Will White, Sarah Henkel, and Francis Chan have been researching Dungeness crabs under the fund. Dungeness crabs are an important part of the Pacific coast ecosystem and the most valuable resource harvested from Oregon's coastal waters. The Dungeness crab fishery is an iconic part of the coastal economy, and being able to forecast the expected landings in a given year is important to the economics of the fishing fleet. An unknown factor in those predictions is the mortality rate of male crabs in the year before they grow large enough to be harvested. This project will take repeated samples of sub-legal-sized crabs in the spring, summer, and fall, (and make use of samples of crabs in those seasons in past years) to estimate crab mortality leading up to the winter harvest season. The results will improve our ability to forecast landings based on pre-season crab surveys, improving the economic health of the fishery.