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Crab-22: how Norway's fisheries got rich – but on an invasive species by Gloria Dickie December 20,2020   |  Source: The Guardian

Known locally as ‘Stalin’s Red Army’, an invasion of king crabs from Russia created a lucrative industry, and difficult choices

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Gloria Dickie in Bugøynes, Norway

Sun 20 Dec 2020 09.00 GMT

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People stand around a bucket of King Crab, caught in a lake at Jarfjord, near Kirkeness, northern Norway
Pot of red gold ... Norway exported nearly $9m worth of king crab in October alone. Photograph: Cultura Travel/Philip Lee Harvey/Getty
The Norwegian fishing village of Bugøynes, 310 miles north of the Arctic Circle and a frigid, dark place for much of the year, was on the edge of ruin.

Work was scarce. Years of overfishing and mismanagement had stymied cod quotas. Boats lay idle in cold waters. Those who chose to stay were forced to rely on what meagre wages they could still muster from fishing and processing.

That is, until the crabs arrived. Starting in the 1980s, woeful fishermen began hoisting up mysterious, spindly giants in their nets in Varangerfjord. The aliens, brandishing two menacing pincers, weighed far more than the brown crabs they had seen farther south.

Unknown to the fishermen, the crustaceans had traveled from Russia, where

 

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Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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