Background on the shore crab
The motif on the face of the new 500-krone banknote is a shore crab, Carcinus Maenas. Shore crabs live on the sea bed, especially in shallow waters, although they avoid leaving the water. In winter, most shore crabs migrate to deeper waters, where it is warmer, or hide under stones, sand, etc., where they overwinter in a more passive state. That is why a Faroese beach can seem entirely free of crabs in the winter.
The shore crab can span up to 7 cm across its carapace. Its colour varies from brown to green, and resembles the sea bed. The shore crab is omnivorous, and is therefore the “rubbish man” of the shore bed. At the same time, it is a favourite meal for fish and sea birds.
There are many shore crabs on the beach near the village of Hvannasund. Children can often be seen playing with them at the water’s edge, collecting them in buckets and pails and letting them go in small pools.