Norwegian Deepwater Prawns


Norwegian Deepwater prawns (Pandalus borealis) prefer cold, clean water which means that they grow and mature slowly. Prawns are an ingredient for any occasion. They have a remarkably intense fresh taste, a firm flesh and a natural pink color.

Prawns are a prized treat in Norway, and you’ll be able to spot the prawns thanks to their appealing light pink color. But that’s not the only thing that makes them unique.

Norwegian Deepwater Prawns
Prawn cocktail

Prawns are usually found at a depth between 100 and 700 meters but are found both shallower (up to 20 meters) and deeper (down to 900 meters), and they prefer temperatures between 1-6 ºC. The prawn stock is classified according to where it lives. In Norway, prawns are found in fjords, coastal areas, in the North Sea/Skagerak and in the Barents Sea. In the North Sea, the fishery involves the stock that is found in the Norwegian Trench.

Related: Scandinavian Shrimp

Norwegian Deepwater Prawns
The prawn fishery in the Barents Sea is sustainable and based on national and international guidelines for long-term, scientifically documented catch. The management of the northern prawn stock respects international environmental standards.

Norwegian Deepwater Prawns
Prawn fishing boat in Norway. Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Prawns are hermaphroditic, which means they start life as males, but transform into females later in life. These changes occur at different times depending on where the prawns are living. In the Barents Sea, the change occurs when the prawns are between 4-7 years old.

During the day, the prawn lies on the bottom to rest or feed. At night, it rises in the water column to eat zooplankton. The prawn mostly moves up and down in the water column, but the female can move to shallower water around hatching time.

Related: Scandinavian Shellfish & Molluscs

Norwegian Deepwater Prawns
Prawn sandwich

Fishing gear
The fishing gear used in the prawn fishery is trawls with a minimum mesh size of 35 mm. Sorting grates for fish are required on the prawn trawl. The sorting grate ensures that the majority of fish and small prawns over a certain size are sent out of the trawl again. Studies are also being done on fishing for prawns in Norway with pots, which are common fishing gear in other parts of the world where prawns are fished.

Prawns are very low in fat and calories and high in protein and nutrition. The proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids makes up about 50% of the fatty acids in prawns. 100 g of prawns covers the daily requirement of omega-3. Prawns are also an excellent source of vitamin E (approximately 4 mg/100g). Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, which enhances the body’s utilization of vitamin A. In addition, prawns have a relatively high content of calcium (about 34 mg/100g), a mineral that is important for building the skeleton. Prawns do not contain carbohydrates

Norwegian Deepwater Prawns
Prawns are a prized treat in Norway

Norwegian prawns have a fresh, sweet and slightly salty taste, which means they can be served in a wide range of hot and cold dishes. The prawns must not be cooked and must be added to the hot dish in the last minute.

Norwegian Deepwater Prawns, written by Tor Kjolberg based on information from the Norwegian Seafood Council