According to Marine Scotland, the Scottish fishing industry has expressed concern about the health of crab and lobster fisheries in Scottish waters. Marine Scotland is seeking views on landing controls that it proposes to introduce throughout the rest of the Scottish coast.
Scotland’s brown crab, velvet crab and lobster fisheries are of great importance to many coastal communities with landings worth £32 million being recorded in 2014. Around much of the Scottish coast, these stocks are estimated to be fished at levels close to or above the FMSY proxy, according to Marine Scotland.
Through their local management bodies, the island communities of Orkney, the Outer Hebrides and Shetland have already introduced individual management arrangements for their crab and lobster fisheries.
Marine Scotland is seeking views on landing controls that it proposes to introduce throughout the rest of the Scottish coast.
These measures include increasing the minimum landing size for brown crab to 150 mm carapace width, increasing the minimum landing size for velvet crab to 70 mm carapace width and increasing the minimum landing size for lobster to 90 mm carapace length.
Also proposed are a prohibition on landing berried velvet crab, ‘crippled’ lobsters (those missing one or both claws), while also decreasing the maximum landing size for female lobster to 145 mm carapace length and introducing a maximum landing size for male lobster of 145 mm carapace length. Prohibitions on sale and carriage to match any landing prohibitions that are implemented on a uniform basis across the entire Scottish coast are also part of the proposals.
The consultation remains open until the 20th of May.