Atlantic Rock Crab Increasing off Iceland Skip to content

Atlantic Rock Crab Increasing off Iceland

The presence of Atlantic rock crab in the waters off West Iceland has increased in recent years. The only local company currently involved in commercial fishing of the crab is startup Arctic Seafood. The crab is mostly sold domestically.

fishingboats-hofn_psPhoto: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

Davíð Freyr Jónsson, who runs Arctic Seafood, told that rock crab fishing can become a profitable industry in Iceland but funding for the processing is required. Fishing is still in the experimental stages.

“We have sent samples [to foreign buyers], they have accepted the crab and everything looks good but we have to fish it more efficiently,” Davíð commented.

Rock crab was first found off the Icelandic coast in 2006. It originates in Newfoundland and was carried to Iceland with ships. It has now firmly established itself off the country’s western coast and the West Fjords.

Experimental rock crab fishing is carried out in collaboration with the Suðurnes University Center and state-run research company Matís has provided facilities for processing.

One of the restaurants serving rock crab is Kopar on the Reykjavík quayside. “It’s a little expensive product but it’s very popular to have it as a taster,” said the restaurant’s head chef Ylfa Helgadóttir.

Arctic Seafood is also involved in the fishing of blue mussels and mackerel.


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