DAO 26:221-227 (1996)  -  doi:10.3354/dao026221

Distribution of Bitter Crab Syndrome in Tanner crabs (Chionoecetes bairdi, C. opilio) from the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea

Meyers TR, Morado JF, Sparks AK, Bishop GH, Pearson T, Urban D, Jackson D

During 1988 to 1991, sampling efforts were conducted to determine prevalences of Bitter Crab Syndrome (BCS) in Tanner crabs from the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea and the boundary area of the Chukchi Sea and Arctic Ocean. Stained hemolymph smears indicated that prevalences of BCS in Chionoecetesbairdi from the Gulf of Alaska were zero to 7.2% in Prince William Sound, zero in Cook Inlet and reached 3.6% in the coastal waters of Kodiak Island. From there, prevalences declined southwesterly to 1.3% and zero along the Alaska Peninsula and the eastern Aleutian Islands. In the Bering Sea, the trend consisted of fluctuating low prevalences of BCS that increased by northerly latitudes in C.opilio, reaching the highest levels of 14.6 to 29.1% in Norton Sound and 13.3 to 15.5% in the Chukchi Sea/Arctic Ocean boundary area. The prevalences in C.bairdi from the eastern/northeastern Bering Sea were between zero and 2.4%. Prevalences of BCS from Russian waters in the western Bering Sea ranged from 0.9 and 1.1% in C.bairdi and C.opilio, respectively. Sample stations where equally large numbers of both Tanner crab species were examined suggested little difference in parasite prevalences.


Tanner crab · Dinoflagellates · BCS


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