• Sweden's news in English
West Sweden prepares for lobster premiere
Sweden's lobster season starts on Monday. Photo: Jonas Ingman

West Sweden prepares for lobster premiere

The Local · 18 Sep 2014, 16:00

Published: 18 Sep 2014 15:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Sep 2014 16:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Dotted with red and yellow wooden houses and watched over by the iconic Ursholmen lighthouse, the tiny Koster Archipelago is home to Sweden's most westerly inhabited islands, hidden about eight kilometres off the coast.

The islands host small, serene fishing communities, sparkling in the autumn sunshine. Few cars are allowed on the shores.

But come Monday morning, it will be rush hour. Lobster pots and crates will be stacked up along the water's edge, before the the region's fishermen - watched by the Swedish media - head out to sea on their boats at 7am sharp.

"I am very excited about getting the first catch and it looks like the weather is going to be amazing," fisherman Niklas Nilsson, 28, told The Local.

"This is a really big occasion for people living here, especially the older ones. It is something they look forward to all year."

The Koster Islands are Sweden's most westerly inhabited islands. Photo: Goran Assner

The succulent crustaceans have been the main source of income for people on the Koster Islands for more than a thousand years.

These days the lobster fishing season is also a major tourist attraction, with Swedes taking vacations to head to the seas and international visitors pulling on their waterproofs and jumping aboard lobster safaris to help with the hauls.

There is a buzz in the restaurants, hotels and cafes on the islands as managers and chefs prepare to buy in some of the first catch and put lobsters back on their menus.

The Local spoke to Stefan von Bothmer, a biologist who runs an organic restaurant in Sweden's first national marine park, Kosterhavet, which incorporates the Koster islands. The park is packed with more than 200 different species of animals and plants that can't be found anywhere else in the country and also works to safeguard the region's fishing industry.

"I've been out and seen people preparing their crates and fishing lines and everything looks perfectly set and ready to go. It's great! We are planning a harvesting party at our cafe in October."

He says he has noticed increasing numbers of visitors arriving from the US and the UK as well as from across Scandinavia.

"This is a place where you can really feel the history of fishing all around you, and I think that is one of the reasons why more people are coming here."

Lobsters can sell for thousands of kronor. Photo: Lisa Nestorson

Current rules mean that fishermen and tourist boats will each be allowed to collect 14 crates of lobsters at a time from Monday morning, as opposed to the 40 that people used be able to gather prior to 2003.

Baby lobsters smaller than eight centimetres long are not allowed to be included, so each crate needs to have a hole in it to make sure they can escape back into the water.

The first lobster snatched from Swedish waters each season is sold at the famed Gothenburg Fish Auction (Göteborgs Fiskauktion).

In 2012, the debut clawed creature was bought for a record 102,000 kronor ($15,450) per kilo.  This was more than triple the 31,600 kronor per kilo paid for the first lobster in 2011.

Last year saw a dip in the price fetched, so fishermen in the area are hoping that the growing spotlight on their industry will help revive interest and revenue.

"I'm hoping that there will be lots of lobsters now that it's warm in the water. Last year it was bad at the start but then it picked up during the season," said Niklas Nilsson, who is one of the youngest fishermen in the area.

He'll be facing friendly rivalry from colleagues based in other fishing villages along the coast of western Sweden, such as Fjallbacka, which is also offering tourist packages this season along with Smögens Havsbad.

Fishermen across Sweden's west coast will search for the first lobster of the season. Photo: Jonas Ingman.

The Local will be blogging live from the Koster Islands from 7.00 on Tuesday morning, so you can get up close to all the action wherever you are reading from.

Our reporter Oliver Gee will be joining the fishermen hoping to score the first catch and tasting some local lobster delicacies. Be warned, you'll be licking your lips for most of the day.

Six West Sweden shellfish adventures you can join this autumn

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available