A new acquaintance
The snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) was first observed in the Barents Sea in 1996, and it has been spreading rapidly ever since. It prefers very cold water, and will often seek out great depths. It is significantly smaller than the king crab – an adult male measuring no more than 15cm. Snow crabs range in colour from brown to light red on top, and from yellow to white underneath. Its taste is noticeably sweeter than that of king crabs.
Hide and seek
Adult male snow crabs come together in tight clusters. As they are new to the Barents Sea, their movement patterns are not well known. They can be found at depths ranging from 20 to 1200 meters, so our crews need to put all their skill and experience to use to find them. When the crew has identified a promising location, large snow pots are left on the seabed. The crew returns to haul in the catch. Snow crabs require water temperatures below 5°C to survive, and are brought to shore in special tanks.
Alive and well
All snow crabs are brought live to our seafront facility in Vardø. They need constant water flow through their gills, and are kept in seawater tanks before being moved to special water-filled crates for international transportation. We retain full control of the treatment of the catch – from the Arctic Ocean and all the way to our clients. As a result our snow crabs are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition, anywhere in the world.