Due to another year of crab season delays, many people are wondering whether giant crab legs will be on Christmas menus. After all, many people could not enjoy the crustacean with friends and families during Thanksgiving. Multiple causes have contributed to delays for annual crab seasons out west. Sometimes, seafood testing interferes with the season’s start date. Migration patterns have also disrupted the industry.


Why are Crab Seasons Shorter?

Sometimes, crab seasons face delays due to health and safety concerns. The seafood industry must conduct certain tests before the commercial fishing season can begin. These tests include testing crabs for domoic acid. The presence of domoic acid, a neurotoxin, can halt the season’s opening if fishers find it in their catches. However, fishers have encountered additional obstacles to the toxins that limit our access to giant crab legs.

In recent years, marine wildlife has become an obstacle. More specifically, migrating whales have become consistently entangled in crab traps. As a result, fishers cannot start the next season each year until most of the whales have migrated further away. A shortened season translates to dropping from a seven-month season to one as short as three months. The shortened season partly affects fishers’ abilities to sell their catches and earn a living. Further, the highly valuable California crab fishery faces its own form of endangerment.


Can We Fix Shorter Crab Seasons?

The potential good news is, environmentalists have discussed whether we can fix the problems facing crab catchers. A big requirement is seeing whether the United States’ major fisheries can and will adapt to help resolve the climate crisis. Scientists have found that our giant crab legs limitations may relate to rising ocean temperatures.

These temperatures may have led to the whales migrating into the crab territory. Additionally, increased water temperatures can create an influx of toxic algae blooms. These blooms can poison the shellfish, thus delaying the entire season.


Where to Buy Crab Legs This Holiday Season

Even if finding crab legs in markets proves difficult, you can always order crab legs online. You can have the legs shipped to your doorstep from either coast. A few vendor options include:

  • Global Seafoods Customers can order four to seven 10-pound giant Alaskan legs for $62.50 per pound.
  • Crab Place For giant crab legs, you will pay $142.49 for a 2-pound minimum. The Crab Place fully cooks the crabs and harvests them from the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean.
  • Fulton Fish Market To order frozen colossal whole legs, customers will pay $84.99 per pound, at a 2-pound minimum. The market freezes the legs after harvesting them to better preserve the quality.

Your budget and taste for crab may help determine which type of crab you order. However, you will need to consider how much you order as well. The standard recommendation is that you should order about 3 pounds per person. Therefore, make sure to place your order with plenty of time to spare before the Christmas rush.

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