Biologisk mangfold

Importation of Live Crabs as Food - Risk to Norwegian Biodiversity


Report no:

Publishing: 10.12.2024

Key message:

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) shall assess whether the importation of non-native crab species intended for food can act as a pathway for the establishment of non-native species and pose a risk to Norwegian biodiversity.

The background for this task is that the Norwegian Customs Service has seized non-native crab species that were brought into the country illegally.

The species included in the seizures were the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis), blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), and rock crab (Cancer irroratus). It appears that the seized individuals were intended for the food and restaurant industry.


In addition to the three identified species, the Norwegian Environment Agency has identified five additional species of non-native crabs that are likely to be imported for use in the food and restaurant industry. The Norwegian Environment Agency therefore has commissioned VKM to assess the risk to biodiversity associated with the import of these eight species. VKM shall assess the risk related to the spread and establishment of these species, as well as the threat posed by any accompanying organisms.

VKM shall also identify and assess any risk-reducing measures.

The project group consists of members from VKM's Panel for Biodiversity:

  • Gaute Velle, Chair and scientific leader of the project
  • Johanna Järnegren
  • Paul Ragnar Berg
  • Martin Malmstrøm, VKM Secretariat (Project Manager)

The risk assessment is to be approved by VKM's Panel for Biodiversity and is planned to be published in December 2024.


Liten bilde av Martin Malmstrøm

Martin Malmstrøm

Prosjektleder, ph.d.

M: 92 42 43 13
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