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EISA – Snow Crab
Photo: Christian Skauge

Ecology and management of the invasive snow crab: Predicting expansion, impacts and sustainability in the Arctic under climate change (EISA).

The snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) appeared in the eastern Barents Sea 22 years ago, and has since spread rapidly. In 2017 it was recorded outside Svalbard. By its dual nature as an invasive species and a potential commercial fisheries resource, the snow crab’s expansion in the Barents Sea has important ecological, economic and political implications, both nationally and internationally.

The EISA project aims to evaluate and predict changes in ecosystem structure and function in Arctic marine systems caused by the invasive snow crab.

The project consortium consists of eight research institutes, NIVA (the Norwegian Institute of Water Research), UiO – University of Oslo, UiT-the Arctic university of Norway, UiA-University of Agder, the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and Akvaplan-niva from Norway, CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), and the University of British Colombia, Canada.

Akvaplan-niva is managing the project through Paul Renaud and will also provide expertise in benthic community ecology, food-web interactions, and feeding ecology of the introduced crabs.