Scotland’s brown crab, velvet crab and lobster fisheries around much of the Scottish coast are estimated to be fished at levels close to or above the FMSY proxy (FMSY is the fishing mortality consistent with the largest average yield that can continuously be taken from a stock under existing environmental conditions).
The Scottish fishing industry has expressed growing concern at the health of these fisheries and called for their management to be improved. 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 are as follows:
- 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
- prohibiting the landing of berried (egg bearing) velvet crab
- increasing the minimum landing size for lobster to 90 mm carapace length
- decreasing the maximum landing size for female lobster to 145 mm carapace length
- introducing a maximum landing size for male lobster of 145 mm carapace length
- prohibiting the landing of ‘crippled’ lobsters (those missing one or both claws)
- introducing prohibitions on sale and carriage to match any landing prohibitions that are implemented on a uniform basis across the entire Scottish coast
The consultation is open for 12 weeks to Friday 20 May 2016. To view the full consultation document, or would like to respond, you can here.