Supreme court: Norway holds exclusive right to fish for snow crab near Svalbard

A court decision about the right to fish for snow crab near Svalbard impacts the access to oil in the region.
Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand
Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand
by RITZAU, translated by kristoffer grønbæk

On Monday, the Supreme Court of Norway determined that EU ships are not allowed to fish for snow crab off Svalbard, reports news agencies NTB and Reuters.

The decision thus confirms previous rulings by Norwegian courts.

The court decision is not only significant in relation to snow crab fishing. It also touches upon the right to search for oil and minerals in the region, writes Reuters.

Snow crabs are a relatively new species to take refuge on the ocean bed.

The snow crab case also reached the supreme court back in 2019.

Back then, it was decided that Norway is allowed to prevent foreign ships from accessing the area if these are fishing for snow crab.

Norway’s supreme court has delved deeper into the matter this time, ultimately reaching the same conclusion, reports NTB.

A Latvian company has represented the opposing party in the court case. If the court had ruled in favor of the company, Norway would have been forced to share natural resources in the area off Svalbard, said Øystein Jensen, a professor of law at Oslo’s Fridtjof Nansens Institutt, when the court case commenced in January.

”And this not only concerns snow crab. It also concerns oil, gas, minerals and fishing,” Jensen stated, according to Norwegian media NRK.

Share article

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay ahead of development by receiving our newsletter on the latest sector knowledge.

Newsletter terms

Front page now

Further reading


See all jobs