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seafood encyclopedia

Alaskan Golden King Crab


  • Scientific Name: Lithodes aequispinus
  • US Market Name(s): King Crab, Brown Crab
  • Canada Market Name(s): Crab, Golden King Crab, Brown King Crab

Culinary Profile

King Crab has a rich, sweet flavour. The body meat has a flakey texture, while the leg meat is somewhat stringy. When cooked - the shell of Golden King Crab turns bright orange.


There are around 40 species of King Crab distributed around the world. Of these, three species are caught commercially in Alaska - including the Golden King Crab, Blue King Crab and Red King Crab. Unlike other Crab species - King Crab have only 3 pairs of legs and each claw is specialized. They have a small “feeder” claw for handling food - and a larger “killer” claw for crushing their prey. Golden King Crab can be easily distinguished from other Alaskan King Crab by their orange to brown coloured shell and their small size. They are the smallest of all Alaskan King Crab species - growing to be between 4 and 7 pounds.


The Golden King Crab lives in the northern Pacific Ocean – ranging from British Columbia to the Aleutian Islands and west to Japan.

Fishing Season

Sustainability Status

Some King Crab populations are low - while others are considered healthy. Alaskan fisheries are well-managed and depleted populations are expected to recover over time. King Crab from Russia are ranked on the “avoid” list by various reputable environmental organizations.

Fishy Fact: Alaska King Crab fishing is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs in North America. Every year, hundreds of fishermen endure extreme weather conditions and harsh work environments with hopes of catching this desirable seafood.


Available as Value Added, Commodity, Custom Packing.