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red king crab

The Red King Crab (Kongekrabbe) is a cold water species that is currently found in both coastal stretches and at sea in the southern reaches of the Barents Sea, at depths of 5 to 400 metres, depending on the season. The Red King Crab feeds on benthic fauna and many kinds of flora, particularly bristle worms and other small mussels.

Russian researchers introduced the Red King Crab to the Barents Sea from the Sea of Okhotsk on the Pacific Coast of Russia in the 1960s. Their intention was to increase the value base for the population in Murmansk. Since then, the Red King Crab has dispersed eastward and westward into the southern Barents Sea and is probably here to stay.

The Red King Crab is a resource that we manage jointly with Russia. The Norwegian catch of Red King Crab did not get underway until 1994, initially for research purposes, but also from 2002 on a commercial basis.

The Red King Crab is a valuable resource, but as a non-native species, great care is taken in Norway to prevent it from dispersing to new areas. Thus, one of the main objectives of the management of the Red King Crab is to limit the stock as much as possible west of 26 degree E longitude (the North Cape).


Usually sold cooked, but also frozen raw. Boiled Red King Crab claws are regarded by many as a delicacy and can be used as a garnish in hot dishes or as special cold dishes. It can be served by itself in a similar way to other crustaceans. Raw Red King Crab claws can be boiled or served au gratin and can be prepared in various dishes in a similar way to lobster or crayfish.

Nutritional content

The meat of the Red King Crab is a good source of protein and contains little fat.

Seafood from Norway.
  red king crab



October to December


Up to 8 kg and a
carapace length of 23 cm in
Norwegian waters