I have been involved in every fishery in Alaska except shrimp. My views were similar to the previous views of fishery managers, in that bottom trawling seemed all right as long as it was regulated.
About a week and a half ago, I took my vessel and crew to a bay with perfect habitat for crab but we could not catch a single crab anywhere in the smooth parts of the bay, parts most geographically desirable for bottom trawling and crab habitat. Sand fleas were abundant.
When I read your article, I could not help but wonder if dragging had tipped the balance of nature against the crab in that area. It was as if they had been nuked. Please report more details about corals, sponges, and why they are so important to larval crab and shrimp.
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