The value of snow crabs that migrate into the Barents Sea could become 6 billion a year, as great as for cod.
In 2012, 2.5 tonnes of snow crabs were caught in Norwegian waters, by 2015, 16,000 tonnes were delivered by the fishing fleet.
This year, quotas have been introduced, and negotiations are underway with Russia on how best to manage the resource, wrote Klassekampen newspaper.
‘The amount is large, with possibly ten times greater biomass than the king crab in the Barents Sea,’ said Ann Merete Hjelset,who is the case manager at the Institute of Marine Research.
If snow crabs enter Norwegian waters in the amounts scientists are predicting, the annual value of the catch is estimated at between 1 and 6 billion. By comparison, cod catches garner NOK 6 to 7 billion annually.
The EU quickly learned of the resource, and gave custody to 16 trawlers. EU Minister, Frank Bakke-Jensen of Høyre (H), has slogged through tough meetings in Brussels on gaining rights to the catch.
‘We must blankly reject all attempts by the EU or others to act illegally. We cannot allow other nations to be given licenses for catches in Norwegian waters,’ he said.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today