Faroese island post issued a set of stamps featuring various seafood. The cold North Atlantic with its strong currents, cold temperatures and a benign maritime flora and fauna are providing excellent breeding grounds for the abundance of fish and shell fish prevailing in these waters, yielding a truly tasty and healthy gastronomical experiences for both the locals as well as the growing numbers of gastronomical travelers.
In Faroese the Norwegian Lobster with its elegant and succulent meat is very much sought after by the restaurants, but also newcommers like the Brown Crab and the Deep Sea Red Crab are gaining more and more popularity.
The Faroese local stock of Shrimps are too small to be commercialized, but the considerable Faroese involvement in the Greenland shrimp fishery has for many years provided a steady supply of Greenland shrimps to Faroese where these small, tasty crustaceans are very popular domestically as well as in the restaurants.
Brown Crab – Cancer pagurus
The shield on the Brown Crab also known as the Edible Crab is reddish brown. The claws have a purple tinge with black tips. You can tell the difference between male and female crabs by the tail below the belly side, which is wider on females. The meat in the claws is white and firm, while the flesh of the body is looser and has a light brownish color.
The shield can be 30 cm wide, rarely more than 20 cm, and the crab’s total weight can reach up to 5 kg.
In summer, the Brown Crab lives on 1 to 30 m depth, and in winter between 30 to 50 meters depth. 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.
Deep sea red crab – Chaceon affinis
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 bycatch 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.
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 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.
The shrimps start their life as eggs under the mother’s skull, which later are moved down between the front swim-legs on the underside. A shrimp usually carries between 100 – 1500 eggs.
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.
There are 7 joints on the rear end of the body and the last one is shaped like the tail fin of a fish. When the lobster need to move, it turns the tail fin up under itself and swims backwards.
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.
Title: Seafood – Faroese Island
Date of Issue: 25 February 2013
Country: Faroese Island
Denominations: 7 KR, 9 KR, 23 KR, 43 KR