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Profile updated on 8 April 2024





Paralithodes camtschaticus


Red king crab, Краб камчатский

Red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) was introduced into the Barents Sea by Russian scientists during the 1960-1970s and is currently found in NE Norway coastal and Russian coastal and offshore waters (Stevens 2014). Jørstad et al. (2007) found no genetic divergence between the Barents Sea and Bering Sea samples analyzed; however, Zelenina et al. (2008) identified significant differences between the native stocks in the Russian Far East and introduced populations in the Barents Sea region.

An agreement between Norway and Russia was in place in 2002-2007 establishing joint fishery management. Following 2007, each country has separately managed its fishery within its EEZ. While Red king crab initially established itself in the northern waters of Norway, over time its range has expanded southward. Due to concern over the ecological impacts of the habitat range expansion of the invasive species, in 2004 Norway began to establish measures to limit red king crab populations in the area west of 26oE (i.e. an open access fishery without catch limits; (Jørgensen and Nilssen 2011)(Sundet and Hoel 2016)). 

Another transplant species from the Bering Sea, queen crab, is also fished in the Barents Sea, but in an area north of where the red king crab fishery takes place (see Queen crab–Barents Sea).


  • In both Norwegian and Russian waters, there is precautionary, TAC-based management informed by stock status and fishing mortality status against reference points (Aravind et al. 2023)(Hvingel et al. 2023).


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