King Crab Invasion: My Short and Cold Experience

King Crab legs

They are red or blue, and always delicious!

At the Varangerbotn fjord, Lars Peter received a giant crab from the hands of Russian diver Anton Kalinin, who captured them as deep as eight meters.

King Crab Invasion

Until the 1960s, nature kept these exotic creatures in their habitats, waters around the Kamchatka Peninsula (Russia’s far east), the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, and the Aleutian Islands in the Pacific. When Russian scientists began their adaptation in remote parts of the country, motivated by Stalinist pragmatism in the past, they considered these animals to be a strategic food source for remote communities that were almost permanently cold in the Soviet Union. For your info, King Crab legs are delicious!

The trial consisted of releasing in 1961 two men and nine women off the coast of Murmansk on the Norwegian border with Russia. The waters, belonging to the Barents Sea, are the favorite habitat of the coveted Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua).

Elsewhere on the beach, experiments varied the number of individuals and the ratio of men and women. This was a considerable opportunity: Pacific giant crabs, better known as king crabs, which in adulthood can exceed 12 pounds, had been freed from their less-known natural predators and had since spread freely in the waters. In 1974 they passed the Barents Sea and descended to the coast of Norway and were captured in the North Sea.

There are four main families of these large crustaceans, all of them from Asia. The most common varieties are red king crabs or Paralithodes camtschaticus, and one of the rarest is the blue king crab or the Paralithodes platypus. Both live in the same habitat and have the same habits; However, for each blue crab, there are thousands of red. They live between 10 and 500 meters, are very resistant to disease, have no natural predators in adulthood, can live for more than 25 years and reproduce as grasshoppers.

King Crab legs

After a long trip through Norway, jumping from small aircraft to smaller ones, I reached the northern tip of the country, in Kirkenes, bordering the port of Murmansk, Russia. On the last stretch, on a short flight between Vardo and Kirkenes, some of the men in seat 35 looked at me with a disguised curiosity. It is a quick joke to guess where I came from and, of course, nothing is right. When they learned the purpose of my trip to those places – to find out about giant crabs – they went to report the facts and connect them to the animals of all kinds of evil. “They eat everything, destroy the seafloor, make fish disappear and also destroy fishing nets,” complained a fisherman sister.

Kirkenes is a rural land town of 3,500 people. He owns one of the largest crab fishing fleets, with most Russian ships and crews forming beautiful mosaics from the “tub” of rusty ancestors moored from March to September. During this period, the crew repaired old ships, preparing them for a season that began in October and lasted until February, during the winter in the Northern Hemisphere. During this period, it was common to stay weeks at sea.

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