Alaska's $200 million snow crab industry came to a screeching halt after the state's Department of Fish and Game canceled the season for the first time in Alaska's history. The department estimates that over a billion crabs have vanished over the last two years, representing a 90% population drop. Experts aren't sure what caused the decline. It could be disease or warming water due to climate change.
From CBS News:
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Alaska is the fastest warming state in the country, and is losing billions of tons of ice each year — critical for crabs that need cold water to survive.
"Environmental conditions are changing rapidly," Daly said. "We've seen warm conditions in the Bering Sea the last couple of years, and we're seeing a response in a cold adapted species, so it's pretty obvious this is connected. It is a canary in a coal mine for other species that need cold water."