Norway's Supreme Court began a hearing this week on whether EU vessels can fish for snow crab in Northern Norway.

Latvian group SIA North Star applied for a license to catch the shellfish in 2019, but was turned down.

The company argued it has the right to harvest the crab under the 1920 Svalbard Treaty, which grants Norway sovereignty over the Arctic islands with the condition that other countries have access to the water.

In 2019, the court ruled EU vessels are required to request permission from Oslo to catch snow crab, after SIA North STAR attempted to fish off Svalbard with only an EU license.

While sanctions against Russia and cancelled harvests in the US have created opportunity in some crab markets, the price of Norway-caught snow crab has fallen by half in recent months, according to data from the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The United States is the most important market for frozen crab. But stocks of frozen Russian crab remain high there and many importers will wait for the Canadian season to start, when prices are expected to dip even lower.