Pribilof Canyon

Pribilof Canyon

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Research

Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, Arctic Seas

PRIBILOF KING CRAB ECOLOGY

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We have teamed up with the St. George Institute, Pribilof School Students, the AKCRABB Group and others to study facets of Pribilof Red King Crab and Pribilof Blue King Crab ecology in the Pribilof Domain. LARVAL TIMING SETTLEMENT We collected plankton samples in nearshore waters at St. Paul and St. George Island in April 2009. Both locations had zoea stage king crab in the water column at that time. Identification of larvae to species is underway. We also deployed 6 crab larvae settlement substrate pyrmamids in spring 2009. These will be examined in June 2000 for presence of king crab zoea or megalops. JUVENILE KING CRAB HABITAT We examined nearshore waters around St. George Island in summer 2008, seeking juvenile king crab. None were found. A single (est.) 2 year old red king crab was found in nearshore, shallow subtidal algae habitat (Ulva sp.) in Zapadni Harbor. SHELLHASH HABITAT We designed a study and restoration plan for the shellhash habitat considered "preferred" by newly settled and juvenile king crab. The plan and proposal elements are posted elsewhere on this site.

GOLDEN V KELP

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The second known population of Aureophycus aleuticus was found along the St. George Island coast in July 2008. Further beds of this "Golden V Kelp" were identified through SCUBA diving and routine surveys by St. George Science Institute researchers. Ongoing research with Dr. Hiroshi Kawaii is focused upon mapping distribution of Aureophycus, searching for fertile material to press into algal culture, and examining general ecology of this kelp species.

BERINGIAN GASTROCLODS

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Working with Dr. Nora Foster, we have been analyizing sediments associated with two concreted masses collected in Pribilof Canyon at 400 meter depth. These "incipient concretions" contain a large gastropod nucleus plus myriad microfossils. USGS diatom experts identified ice algae and diatoms from the sediments. Radiocarbon dating of one of the shells indicated it was over 15,000 years before present. Since this age corresponds roughly to the last submergence of Beringia, we are attempting to use data from these specimens to estimate climatic conditions in the Bering Sea nearshore area during the last ice age.