Friday, August 11, 2006

Norway fears giant crab invasion

Environmentalists and fishermen in northern Norway are warning of a Russian invasion of alien crustaceans which are threatening to ruin the local sea fauna.

They say the giant red king crab is spreading with alarming speed from Russian waters along the Norwegian coast, destroying everything in its wake.

The crab has few natural enemies, and is considered to be an omnivore, digesting everything from cod larvae to other crabs.

But it is also a sought-after delicacy. Lars Petter Oeye takes gourmet tourists on fjord crab safaris near the border with Russia, high up in Norway's Arctic north.

Here, crabs are picked off the sea floor by divers. Mr Oeye says the fjord is crawling with them.

"It is not abnormal that you might see 10,000 crabs together. It might look scary, because people don't know that this is the way king crabs behave.

"I started to dive in 1987. At that time we had found the first crabs in these waters, but we never saw king crabs in shallow depths or in diving depths at that moment."

Read the whole article here.

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