Illustration: Oddvar Dahl © Nofima

Fishery at 78°

Small scale fishery for local value creation on Svalbard

 Seafood industry  

The project aims to prepare Longyearbyen on Svalbard, as the world’s northernmost town, to become a food destination with culinary experiences amongst others based on coastal captured and processed red king crab and snow crab.

Time:1. April 2021 – 31. December 2023
Financed by: The Research Council of Norway
In cooperation with:MATIS, Pole Position AS, Basecamp Explorer, Svalbard Explorer, Svalbard Hotell, Coop Svalbard SA, Rantind AS, Direkte Markedsføringsbyrå AS
Contact person
Portrettbilde av Grete Lorentzen
Grete Lorentzen

Senior Scientist
Phone: +47 995 54 336
grete.lorentzen@nofima.no

The coal-mine industry on Svalbard has been drastically reduced, alternative income resources have been explored to ensure Norwegian presence in the Svalbard archipelago. This includes establishment of a research community and promotion of the tourism industry.

Highly valued marine resources

The objective for the Norwegian government is to ensure that Longyearbyen also, in the future, remains a viable local community being attractive for livelihood, employment, and settlement. Due to the transition and challenges the Svalbard community is facing, and access to the highly valued marine resources; red king crab and snow crab, the project “Fishery at 78” is conceived.

To create values of red king crab and snow crab at Svalbard, scientific knowledge including capture, live holding, processing, and development of culinary food experiences must be developed.

Snow crab and red king crab

This will be achieved through 4 work packages;

WP1: Regulatory and economic conditions

WP2: Capture, live holding (LH), processing, and development of culinary experiences

WP3: Synthesis and evaluation with stakeholders

WP4: Project management, coordination, and dissemination.

Establishing live holding of crabs on Svalbard is not a “copy and paste” operation of the existing fishery along the coast of Finnmark as factors like climate change, retreating ice, access to the resource, water quality, and water temperature differs. Thus, experimental work to evaluate, test, adjust, and optimize, have to be performed to ensure good welfare and a low mortality of the crabs.

The value creation linked to the exploitation of snow crab and red king crab will provide ample opportunities for the Svalbard community, serving tourists and visitors as well as the local population, by creating direct employment. Based on the results obtained, a detailed Svalbard Plan for capture, LH, processing, concepts of culinary experiences of both crab species will be developed and tailored to the tourism industry and the Svalbard community.

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