Saturday, May 4, 2013

Seafood Creatures of Faroe Islands


In Faroes,  the Norwegian Lobster with its elegant and succulent meat is very much sought after by the restaurants, but also new-comers like the Brown Crab and the Deep Sea Red Crab are gaining more and more popularity.

To devoted the specific seafood in the Faroes Island ,  one set  of four stamp series  has been issued on February 25,2013, designed by Astrid Andreasen features the edible popular sea-animal, Brown Crab (Cancer pagurus), Deep Sea Red Crab (Chaceon affinis ), Shrimps ( Pandaulus borealis), Lobster ( Nephrops norvegicus ).



Brown Crab - Cancer pagurus

The Brown Crab ( Cancer pagurus) also known as the Edible Crab . The shield is reddish brown and claws have a purple tinge with black tips.  The difference between male and female crabs by the tail below the belly side, which is wider on females. The shield can be 30 cm wide, rarely more than 20 cm, and the crab's total weight can reach up to 5 kg.

It is most often found on hard seabed, that is, rock. The crab's diet consists mostly of benthic invertebrates such as mussels and horse mussels. In summer, the Brown Crab lives on 1 to 30 m depth, and in winter between 30 to 50 meters depth.

When the Brown Crab is 5 - 6 years old, it becomes sexually mature. It changes shield in the summer, and when it has thrown the old shield and got a new one, it will mate.

The female can store the male's sperm for many years. After having mated once, she can spawn up to three times. The female spawns up to 3 million eggs in autumn and store them during the winter.

In the Faroe Islands there is no commercial fishery for Brown Crab - but in Iceland, Norway, Denmark and the UK, approx. 25,000 tonnes of Brown Crab are caught per year.



Deep sea red crab - Chaceon affinis

In English the crab is called "Deep sea red crab". Crab legs are thin, so there's not much meat in them. But the claws are large and filled with tasty crab meat. There is also some meat on the body. 

In a reciprocal fisheries agreement between the Faroese and the Greenlandic authorities, a Greenlandic trawler was allowed to conduct experimental fishing for crab in the outer Faroese sea territories.

The first attempt took place in February 2000. The red crab - which was the subject of the experimental fishing - appeared frequently as by catch in gillnet fishery for anglerfish. There had been sporadic attempts to fish crab with traps before year 2000 - and to sell it abroad, but not until the year 2006 crab fishing really took off with Faroese vessels.

Crab is caught with traps in areas southwest of the Faroe Islands and at 500 meters depth. The traps are fastened to a rope with approx. 50 meter distance in between, and set out in much the same way as when fishing with gillnets. The catch so far has been about 280 tons per year.



Shrimp - Pandalus borealis

Shrimp are red and have a long horn on their head, filled with sharp thorns. It can be up to 16 - 17 cm long. Shrimps feed on worms, organic waste and various small animals - and even serves as food for larger fish such as cod, halibut and salmon.

The prevalence of Pandalus borealis shrimp goes from the southern regions of the North Sea continental shelf and Skagerrak over to the east side of America's so-called "Gulf of Maine".

In the northern areas the shrimp occurs in the Barents Sea in Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland - Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland and the Davis Strait between Greenland and Canada. The shrimp also occurs in the North Pacific around Alaska and the northern parts of Japan.

The shrimp is a hermaphrodite. The first years it is male - in southern waters where the water is warm, it is male for the first two years of its life, while, in the colder northern waters, it is male for 4 - 7 years. Then the shrimp switches sex and spends the rest of its life as female.

Shrimps live on soft seabed from 50 to 600 meters depth, where the temperature is between 0 to 8 degrees Celsius. They have, however, been caught below 1000 meters.

For the Faroe Islands, shrimping has had great economic importance since the late sixties. The largest catches occurred in the seventies and eighties. Shrimp is in fact the most widely used marine delicacy in the world.



Lobster - Nephrops norvegicus

The Norway lobster is reddish. On the upper body and the head it carries a hard shell, which is attached to the back and hangs down along the sides.


Its gills are located beneath the shell on both sides. The female lobster can grow up to 20 cm, while males can grow up to 25 cm. Lobsters live on 15 to 500 meters depth. It hunts at night and feeds mainly on small benthic animals like starfish, worms and crabs.

The lobster reaches sexual maturity at 3 to 5 years of age. The female carries the approx. 4000 eggs between the hind legs for 8 - 9 months before they are hatched. Lobster spawn every two years, from March to September.

The lobster in Faroese waters is a special Faroese variant and is most often found in the fjords. It happens, however, that lobsters are found out in the Faroese sea shelf. It feeds on soft ground where it dig burrows with multiple entrances and exits.

Lobster fishing is approx. 55 to 60 tons per year. The minimum length for lobster fishing is 13 cm - if the animal is below this limit, it must be put out again.


Technical Details

Issue Date: 25.02.2013
Designer: Astrid Andreasen
Printer: LM Group, Canada
Process: offset
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 40 x 29 mm
Values: 7.00, 9.00, 23.00, 34.00

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