Category East – Russia – sub-polar

North pacific giant octopus

Paractopus dofleini

Although there are over 100 species of octopuses (Genus Octopus) in the world as well as numerous species of deepwater and pelagic octopuses (Order Octopoda), our knowledge of them comes almost entirely from just a few species. (Octopus vulgaris, Octopus bimaculatus, Enteroctopus dofleini, Eledone cirrhosa).

The Giant Pacific Octopus (Octopus dofleini) is the world’s largest species of octopus, weighing in at 18-25 kg with a 9.5m. arm span.. It has recently been re-classified as Enteroctopus dofleini. The genus Enteroctopus embraces the other giant octopuses of the world, viz. E. dofleini in the north Pacific, E. megalocyathus off S. America and E. magnificus off southern Africa.

Octopuses are cephalopod molluscs characterized by having eight arms, no...

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Sea urchins

Strongylocentrotus nudus and S. intermedius

Sea urchins are often used as indicator organisms in public aquaria to determine whether the system is functioning properly. These organisms are extremely sensitive to water conditions and are first to show signs of stress, seen when their spines are laid down or are shed.

Warning! Some sea urchins are covered with sharp venom-filled spines that can easily penetrate and break off into the skin – even through a wetsuit. The DAN (Divers Alert Network) website contains useful information on how to handle the unfortunate effects of accidental brushes with these and other poisonous marine organisms. Check out for any information that you need.

Sea urchins (echinoderms) are a group of marine invertebrates ...

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King crab

Paralithodes camtschatica

Originating from the Sea of Okhotsk in the Camchatca region of eastern Russia, and also native to the Bering Sea, the red king crab (Paralithodes camtschatica) was introduced to parts of the Russian waters of the Barents Sea in the 1960’s. In the mid 1970’s, individual specimens started to appear as bycatch on both sides of the shared Russian/Norwegian border. Since that time, bycatch numbers have increased significantly in that region.

The king crab is a valuable food source and as the world’s largest edible crab, it is the most commercially important of all crabs...

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Haliotis discus hannai

Abalones are highly valued but slow growing, herbivorous marine snails. They belong to a large class of molluscs (Gastropoda) with single-structured shells. There are over 100 species worldwide in the single genus Haliotis, which means ‘sea ear’, a reflection of the flattened shape of the shell. It is no surprise then that it is called ‘Oreille de Mer’ in France. Abalone shells can be oval or rounded, with a row of respiratory pores and large dome towards one end. They are edible molluscs and considered a delicacy). The inner shell of abalone, which has an iridescent green, blue, or pink sheen, is a source of mother-of-pearl

The strong, muscular foot generates enough suction to allow the abalone to fix itself firmly to rocky surfaces, and enables it...

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Snow crab

Chionoecetes opilio

The snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) belongs to class Crustacea, and order Decapoda and is one of the most important commercial species of Decapoda in the

Russian Far Eastern Seas. (It is also the largest crab fishery in Alaska). Snow crabs inhabit the cold waters of the Sea of Japan east of the Korean Peninsula, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea, and can be found in the northwest Atlantic, on sandy or muddy bottoms at temperatures ranging from -1 to 5oC and at depths varying between 20 and 420 m.

Because of its wide distribution, the snow crab has a number of other common names, including the spider crab and queen crab in English, crabe des neiges and crabe araignée in French, and zuwai gani in Japanese.

Crabs have broad, flattened, circular bodies that are c...

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