“Stalin's delayed revenge”
The red king crab, originally native to the northern Pacific, is one of the biggest crustacean species and is considered an extremely tasty delicacy. Because of this, the government of the former Soviet Union was committed to ensuring the supply of this crab in the European region of the country.
As a result, red king crabs were resettled in Barents Sea from 1961 to 1969. The campaign was successful and the crab seemed to thrive in its new realm. The crabs largely remained in this area for the next 30 years until they started travelling along the Norwegian coast in the 1990s, eventually spreading all the way to Lofoten. The yield of Norwegian fishing is now more productive than those of the fishermen in the crab’s original distribution range. Due to its rapid spread and impressive size, the red king crab has sometimes been dubbed the monster crab. While they are bringing good fortune to the fishermen there, these omnivores are clear cutting the seabed. So far, the effects of this have not been fully investigated, but scientists agree that the crabs will not migrate further south.
The three shown red king crabs in the OZEANEUM come from Norway. They were purchased from a Hamburg-based company called Atlantik Fisch for the 1:1 Giants of the Seas exhibit. When being prepared, their bodies were soaked in liquid plastic, a process known as the so-called PEG preservation. This was followed by the detailed coloration of all of the animals before they were arranged in their modeled scene depicting their natural habitat.