The red king crab, which is native to the Pacific Ocean, was introduced in the Murmansk fjord near the Norwegian-Russian border by Russian scientists in the 1960s. It quickly migrated along the coast of Finnmark in Norway. This came despite early Norwegian attempts to halt the spread, due to concerns about how this alien species would affect marine life.
Today, the red king crab is considered a delicacy and a vital part of the local fishing culture. Fresh from the cold and black Barents Sea, it is immediately flown down to the continent's gourmet restaurants, where it sold for prices only comparable with the most exclusive steaks. However, nothing can compare to enjoying the red king crab just minutes after it has been hauled up from the seabed. Travelers who visit Finnmark with Hurtigruten experience this, as the red king crab is delivered directly on deck by local fishermen. Tourists can also go along with the fishermen, pull the crabs up themselves and have them prepared for a tasty dinner.
The red king crab, which feeds on snails, benthic and even fish, can weigh up to 18 pounds and measure as much as 9 inches across its shield. It lives at depths of between 16 and 1,300 feet, depending on the season.