There are 3 Norwegian prawn populations: one in the Barents Sea, one in the North Sea and Skagerrak and one in the fjords. Prawns thrive in deep cold waters, but are found nearer the surface at night where they feed on animal plankton. Prawns are hermaphroditic—they start life as male and complete it as female.
The age of the sex change and spawning time are different for the three populations. The prawns in the Barents Sea complete the change at 4–7 years and spawn from June to October. In the North Sea and Skagerrak, prawns change sex between 2 and 6 years of age and spawn from June to November, and the prawns in the Norwegian fjords go through the change between 1.5 and 2.5 years and spawn during October and November.
The female prawn carries roe under her abdomen and seeks out shallow waters where the larvae hatch. The larvae then float close to the surface to feed on plankton. Prawns live up to a maximum of 10 years.
Prawns are caught with trawl all year around.
Prawns are especially rich in:
- Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body
- Vitamin D, which is necessary to get the right balance of calcium in the body to maintain and strengthen the bones
- Vitamin B12, which is important for the body in producing new cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can help to prevent anemia
- Selenium, an important element in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body
More nutritional data can be found at www.nifes.no/en/prosjekt/seafood-data