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the catching of crabs and their preparation as canned goods. The crab industry uses only king, blue, and tanner crabs. Crabs have been caught as food since 1837 in the Russian-American settlements on the Aleutian Islands. The crabbing industry along the Primor'e coast began in the 1870's; however, the first batches of canned crabmeat were not made until 1908.
A floating crab-processing factory is a large ship (165 m long with a displacement of 16,500 tons). The factory carries 12 motorboats that are launched in the sea to pick up the nets. Special ships set the nets as the crabs approach the coast during the spring migration at depths of 30–80 m; each ship sets out from 2,500 to 3,000 nets daily. The crabs are caught with thick-strand cotton nets with squares of 240 mm; each net is 43 m long. In addition, crab traps are used commercially. As crabs move along the botton, they become entangled in the nets, which are lifted onto the motorboats with winches. On the motorboats the crabs are removed from the nets, and the catch is sent to the factory. Special machines remove the extremities from the body, after which the crabs are boiled in sea water for several minutes. Then the meat is extracted and preserved.
The crab shell is used to make crab meal, which is used as bird food. Only males at least 13 cm long are used; male crabs under this size and females are returned to the sea. In the USSR the main crabbing region is the western coast of Kamchatka.
A. M. KARIAKIN