The curled octopus (Eledone cirrhosa) is not common in Norwegian waters, but sometimes it crawls into a lobster pot or becomes an unexpected by-catch. The pictures on this page shows curled octopus from different locations along the western coast of Norway.
The first curled octopus (above) was taken in a pot while fishing for Norwegian lobster in 2012. Photo: Bjørnar Akselvoll. The color of the octopus is usually shades of red, brown or orange but the octopus has the ability to change its color-pattern.
The octopus above was caught in 2003 and I do not recall the story about this catch. Photo: R. Gjerde. The curled octopus seen below was taken as a by-catch while fishing with net in a fjord (Hardangerfjorden) two years ago. Photo: Kåre Grønsnes.
Taking pictures of the catch is in this case done because the curled octopus is a rare sight along the Norwegian coastline. The curled octopus on this page were released after the photo-session. As this octopus is rare in Norway, we have no tradition of eating them.
In Norway we kall it Trollkrabbe (meaning Troll-Crab). I may look like a troll with all the spikes covering the body and the claws. I believe this crab is called «Northern stone-crab» and the Latin name is Lithodes maja. It is related to the king-crab, but smaller.
Although it’s smaller it is not too small to eat. I got the crab from a fisherman who had caught one in his net while fishing for herring. He had so much work with all the herring that he didn’t care about the crab. I got the crab and I thought «It looks like a king crab.. maybe it taste like a king crab?»
The large king crab is found further north in Norway, but why not try a northern stone crab? I boiled it for 12 minutes in salted water and then set it outside. When the crab was cold, I served it with white bread and mayonnaise. I have tasted king crab, but the northern stone crab tasted even better. Only the legs and claws are eatable.
The norther stone crab is also fond in parts of UK and don’t throw it away if you get one in your pot or fishing net – it tastes fantastic! Below you can see a picture of the northern stone crab while it still was alive.
Trawling in the Norwegian Sea may give strange species to the catch. The pictures in this post shows two sea tadpole which was taken when trawling for blue whiting.
The sea tadpole (Careproctus reinhardti) is rarely more than 30 cm. long and it has no color. You can see straight through the fish as the blood and the veins give the fish a touch of red or pink. This fish is found in deep waters in the northern part of The Atlantic ocean.
Thanks to Øyvind Tangen who has taken the pictures.
Sometimes we get rare visitors in Norwegian waters and a few days ago a small ocean sunfish (mola mola) was caught in a Norwegian fjord. The fish seen on the pictures in this post was caught in a purse seine while fishing for sprat.
With snow in the air it is not expected to catch species like this, and the fish had hardly any chance of surviving in the cold water this time of year. Warm sea water this summer can explain why this small ocean sunfish chose to migrate so far north. It is not a regular guest in Norwegian waters and very few individuals have been caught or observed in Norway.
The ocean sunfish may reach a length of more than 3 meters, but this young fish was only about 70 cm. long. Although it has a very special shape, it sure has beautiful colors. Photos: Dag Andre Gunvaldsen.