Next week we’re looking at two more shipments, Monday and Thursday, for your Live Alaskan King Crab eating pleasure. They’ve been coming in between 7 and 9 lbs, so a good feed for a group of four (get two if there are more of you). Here’s some info about how King Crabs (from various places) are priced:
We’ll sometimes get asked why people can get King Crab at T&T supermarket or other places and it’s much cheaper than what we charge. It’s important to make the distinction between King Crab (from anywhere) and Alaskan King Crab. The fishery in the US is closely monitored – the currently permitted harvest is around 24 million pounds annually – down from 200 million pounds in 1980!
Meanwhile, the Russians introduced King Crab into the Barents Sea (pretty much directly north of Finland and Scandinavia) in the 1960s. In that ecosystem, the King Crab is an invasive (ie non-native) species, eating pretty everything else up there. Russia exported more than 56 million pounds of King Crab to the USA alone in 2007 (other big consumers include Japan). That’s more than twice as much as what comes out of Alaska. So their prices are cheaper. Most of the “cheap” King Crab that we see out in the marketplace is Russian, not Alaskan.
Seafood Watch, from the Monterey Bay Aquarium (which makes recommendations on what seafood it is ok to eat that are science-based, peer reviewed, and use ecosystem-based criteria) gives an ‘Avoid’ recommendation to the Barent’s Sea (Russian) King Crab Fishery – “fished or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment.” So the price for Alaskan product is higher, but as eaters we can take the moral high ground – we are working with a native species from a sustainably managed fishery, rather than an invasive species that is destroying the ecosystem into which it was introduced. In keeping with our ‘not beating you over the head with our environmental bona fides,’ this is not something we go out and advertise, but it is something worth noting.
As always, to book your crab call us at 416-363-8105 ext 22 and we’ll reserve one for you and your group.