The Snow Crab drama continues….
The big concern for Norway is that the shellfish sets a legal precedent. If outsiders can come in and scoop up the crab, that also wins them the right to hunt for oil, gas and other minerals.
Part of the reason for the legal concern is that crab stocks are classified differently from fish. Because they live a sedentary life on the seafloor, they are seen as a resource belonging to the continental shelf. If the EU or other countries stake a successful legal claim to the crab, then it would be harder to challenge their entitlement to mineral resources.
“The snow crab is a test. What happens now decides what will happen in every other issue,” said Rachel Tiller, a scientist at the SINTEF Ocean group, a research institute headquartered in the Norwegian port of Trondheim.
According to US government estimates, the Arctic holds 22 per cent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas deposits.