Red King Crab

Red King Crab

Red king crab is considered a delicacy and is particularly interesting because of its versatility. It can be used in both hot and cold dishes and the superb, juicy claw meat has a naturally sweet taste.

Area

Along coastal waters and tributaries in the southern region of the Barents Sea

Maximum size

Up to 23 centimetres carapace length and 8 kilos.

Some alternative names

Latin: Paralitodes camtschaticus

English: Red king crab

French: Crabe royal

German: Kamschatka-Krabbe

Red king crab is one of five species in the same family. Three of the species live in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea. The other two live off the coast of California. The red king crab is the only of the five species found in the Barents Sea. It was introduced by Soviet scientists in the 1960s, to help the locals in Murmansk make a living. Since then the stock has increased heavily, spreading eastward and westward in the southern parts of the Barents Sea. The crab is a collective resource that Norway and Russia administer together.

The red king crab is a cold water species found at depths from 5 to 400 metres, depending on the season. As they grow they seek out deeper waters, however they come out of the depths during the mating season. After hatching, spawning and mating, they return to the bottom of the sea and stay there until next year. They have a life span of around 15 years.

Wild catch

The Norwegian red king crab fishery in the Barents Sea started as an experiment as late as in 1994. In 2002, the fishery became commercial. Red king crab is caught from October to December in special crab pots for up to 100 crabs. As they are caught in limited numbers, the fishermen can handle each king crab individually. The whole process from catch to production is characterised by a high level of care and attention, which gives them a unique quality.

Products

Norwegian red king crab is available in the following variants, both live and frozen and either raw or cooked: Whole crab (only the innards in the carapace are removed), cluster (three legs and a claw joined together) and single legs and claws.

Diet

Bottom species, plants.

Nutrition

Seafood contains almost all the nutrients the body needs. Red king crab is especially rich in:

  • Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body.
  • Vitamin B12, which is important for the body to produce new cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can contribute to preventing anaemia.
  • Selenium is an important contributory substance in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body.