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Edible crab


carapace up to 25 centimeters


up to 6 kilograms


orange-red with black tips on the claws


20-50 years, some people say even 100 years


omnivore: mostly shellfish but also carrion


seals, cod and other fish, man



  • Dut: Noordzeekrab
  • Lat: Cancer pagurus
  • Eng: Edible crab
  • Ger: Taschenkrebs
  • Dan: Taskekrabbe
Edible crab, Ecomare

Edible crab

The edible crab is the 'muscle (wo)man' among the crabs. It is very wide, has large claws, a thick carapace and trusts its sturdy body to protect it from enemies. Edible crabs eat everything, however they are specialized in cracking shellfish. Their pincers are slow but strong. They can easily crack a pencil. The edible crab is the only crab species of commercial interest in the Netherlands. The meat in the claws is considered a true delicacy in some countries.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Edible crab, Ecomare

    The edible crab is common along the coasts of the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea between 25 and 300 meters deep. Only young specimen are found close to the coast. It lives mostly on rocky bottoms, stones and wrecks.