Crab rolls are getting cheaper

The main fishing season for shrimp fishermen started unusually early this year. The full networks mean lower prices. How the season will develop is unclear.

Numerous and therefore cheaper: North Sea crabs

VConsumers can look forward to falling crab prices: The main fishing season started much earlier this year than usual, as Philipp Oberdörffer, the managing director of the German Crab Fishermen’s Association, said. Normally, a new generation of crabs does not ensure full nets until late summer. This year, the population off the Dutch coast had already increased in June.

As a result, producer prices fell from around 8 euros for a kilo of crabs to around 3.50 euros. However, the lower prices usually only reach consumers at a different time. At the Butjadinger fishing cooperative in Fedderwardersiel, a roll with 100 grams of crab meat currently costs 6 euros, two weeks ago it was 50 cents more, as one employee said.

The North Sea shrimp fluctuates very strongly. In the past two years, according to Oberdörffer, catches were 40 percent below the long-term average. This was mainly due to the whiting, which had eaten a lot of young shrimp. In some cases, this led to very high prices for consumers: a crab roll at the Hamburg Landungsbrücken cost up to 11.50 euros last year.

Oberdörffer suspected an increased water temperature in the North Sea to be one of the reasons for the premature main fishing season. “Also, there are few whiting at the moment,” he said. After the start of fishing in the Netherlands, the season is now beginning further north, first off the coast of Lower Saxony, then off Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark. There, however, the fishermen would already suffer from the lower prices, which are determined by the high catches off the Netherlands. No one could predict how the shrimp fishery would develop by the end of the year, emphasized Oberdörffer.