Subgroup: Global Ecological and Economic Connections in Arctic and Sub-Arctic Crab Fisheries

Overall Goal

The overall goal of the subgroup "Global Ecological and Economic Connections in Arctic and Sub-Arctic Crab Fisheries" is to understand the ecological shifts in marine productivity and/or economic transformations in fisheries markets that we expect due to climate change, technological developments, and shifts in consumer preferences.

We address this goal through an international, interdisciplinary network focused on a comprehensive view of global interactions in evolving Arctic and sub-Arctic crab fisheries and markets. The network is broadly interdisciplinary and international, consisting of natural resource economists, ecologists, risk perception experts, and other individuals with market and regulatory expertise on crab fisheries. Through this research, we seek a more complete understanding of potential risks and opportunities related to shifting global market conditions for global Arctic and sub-Arctic crabs: the Red King (P. camtschaticus) and Snow crabs (C. opilio) that are widely consumed in Japan and Korea. While the crab markets are themselves important, they also provide an important opportunity to investigate how ecological shifts in marine productivity will interact with other market shifts. With significant increases in sea temperatures and other climatic shifts in the Arctic expected, many species and ecosystems face challenges to their productivity and resilience, creating both risk and opportunity. The crabs present excellent complementary vanguard cases for deeply analyzing these important and uncertain future transitions.

Main Activities

The subgroup will perform academic research at an international level, increasing impact on social sciences, ecology and management. The activities will aim to identify the distribution of changes in benefits and costs among stakeholders. The subgroup will investigate:

  • Crab shifts as preview of climate change impacts to come
  • Risk perceptions and preferences of consumers and producers.

Furthermore, the subgroup will reach out to governance organizations, communities and stakeholders engaged in the crab markets.

Current and Planned Activities

  • Research Activities to develop research connections and data collection, particularly for questions:
    • (1) using differences in climatic and ecological conditions and fishing pressure to investigate compounding effects on crab stocks
    • (2) investigating changes in regulations and international agreements regarding IUU fishing for crabs
    • (3) understanding the crabs in socio-cultural context, including its use in tourism across regions



  • Mullowney, D. R., Baker, K. D., Szuwalski, C. S., Boudreau, S. A., Cyr, F., & Kaiser, B. A. (2023). Sub-Arctic no more: Short-and long-term global-scale prospects for snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) under global warming. PLOS Climate, 2(10), e0000294.
  • Skonhoft, A. and Kourantidou, M. (2021). Managing a natural asset that is both a value and a pest. Cooperation vs. competition: The Barents Sea Red King Crab. Marine Resource Economics, 36, 229-254.
  • Kourantidou, M. and Kaiser, B. A. (2021). Allocation of research resources for commercially valuable invasions: Norway's red king crab fishery. Fisheries Research, 237, 105871.
  • Kaiser, B. A., Kourantidou, M., Ahsan, D., Bakanev, S., Burmeister, A., Eckert, G., ... & Yamamoto, M. (2021). Global ecological and economic connections in Arctic and sub-Arctic crab markets. Marine Policy, 127, 104442.
  • Kourantidou, M. and Kaiser, B. A. (2019). Sustainable seafood certifications are inadequate to challenges of ecosystem change. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 76(4), 794-802.
  • Kourantidou, M. and Kaiser, B. A. (2018). Research agendas for profitable invasive species. Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, 8(2), 209-230.
  • Kaiser, B.A., Kourantidou, M., Fernandez L.M. (2018). A Case for the Commons: The Snow Crab in the Barents. Journal of Environmental Management, 210, 338-348.
  • Kaiser, B. A., Kourantidou, M. (2018). Invasive Crab Species in the Barents Sea: Stakeholder Perceptions, Incentives, and Path Dependencies. CIESM Report No. 50. Marine Species Interfering with Human Activities - Scientific Vs. Stakeholder Perceptions, N° 50 in CIESM Workshop Monographs [F. Briand, Ed.], CIESM Publisher, Monaco.
  • ICES. 2018. Report of the Workshop on Global Ecological and Economic Connections in Arctic and Sub-Arctic Crab Fisheries (WKCRABCON), 11-13 December 2017, ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2017/SSGEPD:24. 28 pp.

Other Information

Lead of the Subgroup: Melina Kourantidou, University of Southern Denmark, University of Western Birttany - Université de Bretagne Occidentale.