However, Latvia is not the only EU state crabbing in Barents Sea region – Spain and Lithuania are also involved in snow crab fishing. In April of 2015 Latvian company NORTH STAR Ltd launched a strategic partnership project with a Norwegian Company AS SEAGOURMET NORWAY – the deliveries of live crab to the factory of SEAGOURMET in Batsfjord. Project has proved to be a success. It was well noted by the officials both in Norway and Latvia. Firstly, ambassador of Latvia HE Mr Indulis Abelis visited the factory during the opening ceremony in June 2015 and later, in September 2015, the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries – Elisabeth Aspaker honored the factory with her visit.
The main aim of EUROCRAB (European Crabbing Association) is to unite and involve like-minded representatives of the crabbing industry in solving common issues and addressing common goals and challenges, both on day-to-day level – with representatives of other fishing industries as well as on the political and international level – by supporting and defending the rights of EU crabbers.
The second goal is to address environmental and ecological issues – representatives of EU crabbing industry are willing to provide assistance and support in researching and safeguarding the vulnerable and unique ecosystems of Barents Sea as well as sustainable fishing of snow crab resources. During the first half of 2015 the EU crabbers came up with 3 independent plans how to evaluate and research the closed areas of Loop Hole (NEAFC 1A area) where the ground fishing is restricted.
The third goal is to represent the EU crabbing industry in the international conferences and trade fairs, to promote healthy and sustainably caught snow crab, that is still quite a unique product on European market, however very popular and demanded on such markets like US and Asia.
As the first Spanish vessel ADEXE PRIMERO started crabbing in 2013. In beginning of 2014 Lithuanian crabbing vessels - JUROS VILKAS, KARALIŠKAS and ŽALGIRIS started their crabbing activities in Barents Sea. In July 2014 first Latvian vessel SOLVITA joint the EU fleet in NEAFC Loop Hole.