Lecture on Dungeness Crabs

June 7, 2019 - 9:00 PM
Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
63466 Boat Basin Rd
Charleston, OR
Oregon Institute of Marine Biology

Dr. Alan Shanks and research assistant.
Dr. Alan Shanks and research assistant.

Alan Shanks, a professor at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB), will cap the Spring Seminar Series with the annual Bayard McConnaughey Public Lecture (honoring a long-time Oregon Shores board member who was one of the first professors to teach at OIMB).  Speaking at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 7, in OIMB’s Boathouse Auditorium, Shanks will address “Dungeness crabs—their biology, ecology, and what causes cycles in their abundance.”  The public is invited to this free event to learn about his research.  A reception will folllow in the OIMB dining hall.

Shanks says of his planned lecture:  "First I will present a brief history of the fishery. Then I will discuss the biology of the species and how the fishing regulations fit with this biology such that the fishery appears to be truly sustainable. The regulations allow for an intense fishery — essentially all the 4-year old male crabs are caught each year — but despite the intensity of fishing there is no impact on the reproductive output of the population. Then I will present my work, which is an attempt to determine what causes the year-to-year variation in the number of returning megalopae and how this eventually translates into the size of the commercial catch; in other words, I try and predict the commercial landing 4 years in advance. Surprisingly I actually can. Lastly, I am going to discuss how climate change through the generation of marine heat waves might impact the fishery."

Dr. Shanks is a professor of biology and biological oceanography, whose work tends to dwell on the place where the physical and biological realms intersect, such as his current studies of how the dispersal of larvae is affected by currents and surf.

To reach the OIMB Boathouse Auditorium, park on Boat Basin Rd. near the campus and walk down the road past the Coast Guard housing.

For more information, call (541) 888-2581 or e-mail [email protected].