Alaska Bering Sea snow crab stocks could need at least six years to fully recover, but an upcoming decision from the powerful North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) could allow fishermen, communities and seafood processors to fish commercially for the species, even while the stocks rebuild.

Analysis presented at the NPFMC annual meetings this week, where catch quotas for some of the most important fisheries in the US are determined, showed rebuilding the snow crab stock to full health could be years away.