The Ministry of Fisheries has issued experimental fishing licenses for the great spider crab (Lat. Hyas araneus) in Icelandic waters next summer, to two companies, Saegarpur in Grundarfjördur and Birgisás in Búdardalur, west Iceland.
Fishing in Iceland. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
If everything goes according to plan, up to four boats could participate in the project. The licenses expire in August. The experiment will primarily be undertaken to examine how easily the great spider crab is caught and determine the best way to process it, Fiskifréttir, a Vidskiptabladid supplement, reports.
“While fishing whelk we have sometimes accidentally caught some great spider crabs, and in some areas there seems to be quite a lot of them,” said Ásgeir Valdimarsson from Saegarpur, adding:
“We want to find ways to harness the great spider crab, both the one that is caught accidentally and also to start fishing it in special crab traps if it proves profitable. But it’s all in the early stages now.”
Valdimarsson revealed that a company in Canada might be interested in cooperating with them on harnessing the great spider crabs.