Like any marine animal harvested for food, crabs must not be harvested so fast that their populations do not have time to replace themselves, in order for a crab fishery to be sustainable. The ease with which crabs can be sustainably harvested depends on the exact species: in the US Dungeness crabs, Canadian snow crabs, and stone crabs are species that tend to come from well-managed fisheries. King crabs are one of the worst species to consume, because they take at least four years to reach maturity, meaning that their populations are slow to recover from crabbing. Further, most king crabs sold in the US come from fisheries in Russia, where crabbing practices are not as well regulated or sustainable as in US waters.
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