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Russian 'Red Army' of Monster Crabs Heads West
The Moscow Times ^ | February 4, 2003

Posted on 02/03/2003 9:16:07 PM PST by Shermy

KIRKENES, Norway -- A spiny "Red Army" of monster crabs is on the march west from the Russian Arctic and might end up menacing vacationers on beaches all the way to Portugal.

An estimated 12 million king crabs, descendants of stock brought from the Pacific Ocean under a Stalin-era scheme, are scuttling into the Atlantic after a mystery crustacean population explosion off northern Russia.

The crabs, originally an experimental food source for the barren northwest Soviet Union, have ravaged their way about 500 kilometers along Norway's Arctic coast in just 10 years.

No one knows how far south the seabed stormtroopers, some more than a meter from claw-tip to claw-tip, will advance before the water gets too warm or they run into tougher predators.

"Estimates for the potential southward limit for the species range between Lofoten [just inside the Arctic Circle in Norway], the North Sea basin and Portugal," the WWF environmental group said in a report.

The WWF suggests a fishing free-for-all to stop the crabs, a delicacy known as Kamchatka crabs or Red King Crabs. The WWF also wants the United Nations, via its Convention on Biological Diversity, to put pressure on Oslo to halt the crawl.

Norwegian officials dismiss suggestions that the crabs might sometime be slicing off the toes of bathers as far south as the Algarve after conquering beaches in Sweden and Spain, with side trips to Britain, Ireland and the Baltic Sea. "Lofoten is likely to be the limit but it is very difficult to say," said Aasmund Bjordal, chief researcher at the state-run Norwegian Institute of Marine Research.

He said the crabs liked icy waters and that cod, catfish and even seals preyed on the soft-skinned young crabs before they develop the armored shells of the adult. The biggest crabs weigh about 10 kilograms.

In the Pacific, where environmentalists say seabed competition is tougher, the crabs have ventured as far south as Canada's Vancouver Island and northern Japan. "It's more likely that the crabs will go north than south," said Jan Sundet, a senior researcher and leading crab expert at the institute. The crabs venture into shallow water to mate in spring but lurk in deeper waters most of the year.

Yury Orlov, a Russian who helped transport crabs by plane and train from the Pacific, reckons the species could reach the mouth of the Mediterranean. "It will keep going as far as Gibraltar," he told the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

Orlov led a project to bring 2,000 female crabs, 1,000 males and 10,000 young from the Pacific in the 1960s. No one knows what caused the population to rocket in the 1990s.

The crab plan was launched under Stalin in the 1930s. Most died on early trips until Orlov hit on a survival of the fittest test -- meaning the new crab stock may be even tougher than their Pacific cousins. "I put the crabs on their backs and if they managed to turn over quickly, they were strong enough to make the trip," he said.

Bjoern Bye, a crab fisherman in the Norwegian Arctic port of Kirkenes, has a word of advice. "They're easy to handle but don't put your fingers near their claws," he said. "I don't think they could cut off a finger but they can give a deep cut."

Some Norwegian fishermen hate the crabs for ripping their nets while others welcome them as a new source of income -- crab meat sells for 400 crowns ($58) per kilogram in Oslo shops.

"We have to stop seeing the crabs as a plague and see them as a resource," said Norway's fisheries minister, Svein Ludvigsen. He said the crabs were popular with gourmets in Japan.

Norway and Russia have doubled quotas to a total of 800,000 crabs for 2003 from 400,000 in 2002, when catches were first allowed off Norway. Oslo also plans to fix a maximum southern limit beyond which fishing will be a free-for-all. The WWF wants more drastic measures, fearing the crabs may usurp native Arctic species. "Norway should allow free catches of the crabs everywhere all year round, with subsidies if needed," said Rasmus Hansson, head of the WWF in Norway. "The problem is that there are no real predators for the crabs in the western Arctic, where the crabs are a much bigger and more powerful than any bottom-living organism," he said. Several species of giant crab compete in the Pacific.

Ludvigsen said it would be impossible to exterminate the crabs -- even using poisons -- and that they were introduced decades before the convention was agreed in 1992. Other officials say eradicating the crabs would be like trying to oust rainbow trout, introduced to European rivers from North America. Many species are nonnatives; potatoes and tomatoes spread to Europe from South America in the 16th century.

Fisherman Bye shrugged off the disputes. "The crabs can be a pest, but they're easy to catch," he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Miscellaneous; Russia
KEYWORDS: crab
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The Red King Crabs, some more than
a meter wide, have ravaged their way
500 kilometers along Norway's coast
in just 10 years

1 posted on 02/03/2003 9:16:07 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
Yum.
2 posted on 02/03/2003 9:18:05 PM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: Shermy
10 Years? We still have time to fight them off..a few doses of RID, A-200 Pyrinate, and Nix should do the trick...

OH!! You meant sea swelling crab's...my bad.

3 posted on 02/03/2003 9:18:43 PM PST by Michael Barnes
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To: Kenny Bunk; aculeus; dighton; shaggy eel; GovernmentShrinker; Willie Green; okie01
Ping.

Earlier story:

Pet Eel To Stay In German Bathtub

4 posted on 02/03/2003 9:19:30 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Grampa Dave
Cuisine ping.

I'm signing off...

5 posted on 02/03/2003 9:20:23 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
The disease ...

The cure ...


6 posted on 02/03/2003 9:22:14 PM PST by Law Abiding American People
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To: Shermy
yummy, yummy - pass the butter sauce
7 posted on 02/03/2003 9:23:37 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: Shermy
I have eaten Russian food...they will definitely find a way to screw this up. They make bread taste bad, they make pork taste bad, they make cucumbers (which don't even have a taste!) taste bad. They will find someway to ruin these miracle crabs. Probably try to make liquor out of them or something.

I like the Russians as people but for the love of God their cooks make the Brits look like Wolfgang Puck.

8 posted on 02/03/2003 9:28:22 PM PST by American Soldier
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To: KC_Conspirator
Yummy indeed, but in moderation! :)

"The WWF suggests a fishing free-for-all to stop the crabs, a delicacy known as Kamchatka crabs or Red King Crabs. The WWF also wants the United Nations, via its Convention on Biological Diversity, to put pressure on Oslo to halt the crawl."

May I suggest that loads of HOT, CREAMY BUTTER would slow them down!
9 posted on 02/03/2003 9:29:02 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (This space for rent (Not accepting bids from the United Nations))
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To: Shermy; aculeus; general_re; BlueLancer; hellinahandcart; Poohbah

He's a hard worker and she's cute. It's miles above some "gay marriage."

10 posted on 02/03/2003 9:29:06 PM PST by dighton
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To: Shermy
Yury Orlov, a Russian--------

RECKONS!!!!!!!!?

11 posted on 02/03/2003 9:31:27 PM PST by RIGHT IN SEATTLE
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To: Shermy
Hey, those Russki's aren't hiding some giant lobster species also are they? I don't see what the problem is here, maybe it's just me. Those Norski's need something to liven up their diet of lutefisk and bread anyway.
12 posted on 02/03/2003 9:31:54 PM PST by Tailback
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To: Shermy
The WWF suggests a fishing free-for-all to stop the crabs, a delicacy known as Kamchatka crabs or Red King Crabs.

Wait a minute ... the WORLD WILDLIFE FUND is saying "Catch all you want?" Whatever happened to Kumbaya, doodz?

Guess animals need "protection" only if they're furry and cuddly.

13 posted on 02/03/2003 9:33:04 PM PST by Law Abiding American People
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To: Tailback
Hey, those Russki's aren't hiding some giant lobster species also are they?

How close to Chernobyl were these crabs raised?

14 posted on 02/03/2003 9:34:22 PM PST by Law Abiding American People
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To: Shermy
I don't understand why these critters are a problem. With a decent price, I would think they should be in short supply.

Oh well, everything I know about the ocean I learned from Jules Verne. Everything I need to know about the ocean I learned from Jaws.

15 posted on 02/03/2003 9:36:58 PM PST by templar
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To: Law Abiding American People
No kidding! Just try and tell the folks down in South Louisiana that a population explosion among gourmet sea creatures of any sort is something other than a reason to inaugurate a new festival! LOL!
16 posted on 02/03/2003 9:38:48 PM PST by rogue yam
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To: rogue yam
Man. Just imagine the crab boil you could have with half a mil of those delicate little things. It would be enough to feed half of Russia.
17 posted on 02/03/2003 9:41:43 PM PST by Law Abiding American People
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To: Law Abiding American People
I agree. Crab at 2-3 bucks a pound.

I'd be living on this every night. Heaven.

18 posted on 02/03/2003 9:49:20 PM PST by lizma
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To: Tailback
Alas...our waters are too warm...

In a few months they'll have the crab fest in Lacombe again..I'm gonna tell this horror story to the people there.
19 posted on 02/03/2003 9:53:59 PM PST by Bogey78O (It's not a Zero it's an "O")
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To: American Soldier
"[The Russians] will find someway to ruin these miracle crabs."

Crab borscht?

Though they would make a tasty shashlik...

20 posted on 02/03/2003 10:01:39 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: Shermy
Reply to post #1: Blue ointment will stop them.
21 posted on 02/03/2003 10:03:40 PM PST by A6M3
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To: American Soldier

I think the key to keeping down Russian food is in the liquid refreshments ;-)

22 posted on 02/03/2003 10:10:10 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: Shermy
This is a problem how, exactly? Fish them out, eat the meat, mmmm good....
23 posted on 02/03/2003 10:15:00 PM PST by July 4th
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To: Shermy
Putin's Crab Leg Special  Now on Sale !
24 posted on 02/03/2003 10:29:15 PM PST by Rain-maker
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To: Law Abiding American People
All they need to do is import some cajuns....... But then the cajuns might like the Russian girls (might?!?) and then you would have a plague of coonasses. I am not sure that that would be a large improvement. ;-]
25 posted on 02/04/2003 4:43:02 AM PST by Rifleman
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To: Shermy
Anyone got butter?????
26 posted on 02/04/2003 4:44:26 AM PST by mware
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To: Shermy
Thaht one critter is BIGGER THAN MY CRAB POT! I'd make damn sure I had about 50 gallons of good, hot boiling water and stand back when I chucked him in!
27 posted on 02/04/2003 4:51:22 AM PST by djf
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To: Shermy
Beats the Heck out of Kudzu in my Book!!
28 posted on 02/04/2003 5:02:43 AM PST by carpio
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To: KC_Conspirator
Yum.

That's what I think. I wish this 'problem' were near me!

29 posted on 02/04/2003 5:09:04 AM PST by Snowy (50% off)
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To: Shermy

30 posted on 02/04/2003 5:11:53 AM PST by Jaxter
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To: Howlin; Ed_NYC; MonroeDNA; widgysoft; Springman; Timesink; AntiGuv; dubyaismypresident; Grani; ...
Got butter?

"Hold muh beer 'n watch this!" PING....

If you want on or off this list, please let me know!

31 posted on 02/04/2003 5:14:09 AM PST by mhking ("Space is dangerous, Doctor." --Elim Garak)
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To: Shermy
What a great enviro disaster. These are maybe the best crabs in the world to eat. Throw some good seasoning in a big pot and kill the crabs. Then remove their big legs and throw into the pot to steam for about 5 minutes.

Then remove the cooked crabs, served with Myer Lemons, and lots of hot Beer Bread and a good salad.

Hmmm! Hmmm! Good!

Save the left overs for omelets and crab salads.
32 posted on 02/04/2003 5:31:45 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Stamp out Freepathons! Stop being a Freep Loader! Become a monthly donor!)
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To: Shermy
Norwegian officials dismiss suggestions that the crabs might sometime be slicing off the toes of bathers as far south as the Algarve

Sounds like the lobstrosities that got Roland's fingers and toes.
33 posted on 02/04/2003 5:35:16 AM PST by aruanan
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To: lizma
Monster Crab Imperial? Now THAT's good eatin'!
34 posted on 02/04/2003 6:25:06 AM PST by Xenalyte
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To: American Soldier
Oh, I don't know. My husband and I found ourselves in a Russian restaurant one night--we were about the only English speakers in the place. We absolutely loved the food!
35 posted on 02/04/2003 6:26:48 AM PST by twigs
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To: aruanan
wow. never thought I'd ever run across a reference to that Stephen King saga. When's the next segment of the story coming out if at all?
36 posted on 02/04/2003 6:32:23 AM PST by KantianBurke (Who are YOU to legislate with my hard earned $$$??)
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To: KantianBurke
wow. never thought I'd ever run across a reference to that Stephen King saga. When's the next segment of the story coming out if at all?

The last three books in the series are going to be published relatively soon:

Wolves of the Calla, Vol. V (tentative date, September, 2003) Read the Prologue HERE
Song of Susannah, Vol VI (tentative date, November, 2003)
The Dark Tower, Vol VII (tentative date, March, 2004)
37 posted on 02/04/2003 7:29:19 AM PST by aruanan
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To: aruanan
Dad-a-Chum

Geez, I'd never though he'd get around to it. Lobstrosities, Eddie, Blaine the Train and the passed on Patricia.
'Bout time Steve

38 posted on 02/04/2003 7:37:53 AM PST by Duke809
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To: mhking
Best ping ever. Thank you.

:sniff: :sniff:

And I had to end up in Oklahoma.

Waaaah!
39 posted on 02/04/2003 8:18:35 AM PST by ChemistCat (We should have had newer, safer, better, more efficient ships by now, damn it.)
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To: Shermy
a case of monster crabs? on this forum? how inappropriate!
40 posted on 02/04/2003 8:19:40 AM PST by Libertarian4Bush
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To: Shermy
"We have to stop seeing the crabs as a plague and see them as a resource," said Norway's fisheries minister, Svein Ludvigsen.

Why, oh why, do people constantly see everything as a threat? Crab meat is a delicacy that will provide a lot of income to their country and provide jobs and stability for thousands, and yet because it is something out of the norm, people want to get rid of the crabs.

"O no! We have found a huge vein of gold in our silver mine, this is going to reduce the amount of silver we can produce. Darn the luck!" - Norwiegan mine owner

41 posted on 02/04/2003 8:34:11 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Law Abiding American People
until Orlov hit on a survival of the fittest test -- meaning the new crab stock may be even tougher than their Pacific cousins.

Oh great! This is worse than the Africanized honeybees! The world is doomed! Except, of course, that you can eat them... :^)

42 posted on 02/04/2003 10:09:27 AM PST by Experiment 6-2-6 (Meega, Nala Kweesta!!!!)
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To: ApesForEvolution
hot drawn garlic butter... and a baked spud on the side... dreamy!!!!
43 posted on 02/04/2003 10:16:52 AM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.")
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To: dcwusmc
There was a place in Sumter, SC, that served all you can eat crab legs once a week. One of their side dishes was the most amazing sweet potatoes. An odd combination but it WORKED.

I used to like the Cajun Crab Boil here at Crabtown in OKC...but they toned it down too much. If you don't REQUIRE heartburn meds afterward, it's not worth doing. They do replace the occasional tragically-empty crab leg that you'll get now and then. (What causes that anyway?)

Really, even the Russkis couldn't screw up king crab legs.
44 posted on 02/04/2003 11:50:11 AM PST by ChemistCat (We should have had newer, safer, better, more efficient ships by now, damn it.)
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To: dcwusmc
Ah yes...but I prefer my garlic in my mashed monster taters on a plate seperate from my KING crab legs!!
45 posted on 02/04/2003 12:10:08 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (This space for rent (Not accepting bids from the United Nations))
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To: ChemistCat
My Jamaican wife has what appears to be a strange taste: she will have a spicy soup and a sweet cake instead of crackers with it. I would guess a sweet potato would work quite well with the crab: the savory and the sweet would complement each other pretty well....

Crabs this size would keep you eating for HOURS at a sitting... and if there are so many of them, maybe the price of good crab would come down to a decent range!
46 posted on 02/04/2003 12:11:55 PM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.")
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To: ApesForEvolution
Just a handful of these monsters' CLAWS would make my day today! I.....can't.......take.........it.......any.........more..................must...............obtain...............king.............crab..............l.....e...g..s...
47 posted on 02/04/2003 12:12:09 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (This space for rent (Not accepting bids from the United Nations))
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To: ApesForEvolution
Sounds fair to me... garlic and cheese in the spuds and hot butter for the crab... In fact, that sounds REAL good! Gotta get me some of those crabs!
48 posted on 02/04/2003 12:13:53 PM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.")
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To: Shermy
Wow, you'd need a helluvabig pot to steam that bad boy. Mmmmm.... Old Bay Seasoning, melted butter ... BEER!
49 posted on 02/04/2003 12:15:49 PM PST by ArrogantBustard
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To: dcwusmc
Ahhhh....the power of CHEEEEESE!!
50 posted on 02/04/2003 4:47:33 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (This space for rent (Not accepting bids from the United Nations))
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