The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) is considering a management change that would annually close Alaska pollock fishing in red king crab habitats that researchers say are important for the stock to rebound.

The measure is being considered among a range of alternatives for the fishing area following over 12 years of "extremely low" recruitment and low stock status that led to a closure of the lucrative Bristol Bay king crab fishery for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

New research presented in February by fishery analysts with the NPFMC and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show the red king crab savings area (RKCSA) is an important habitat for the crab, "providing refuge during juvenile life stages and during molt/mate timing."