Nephrops – North Sea, West of Scotland and Irish Sea, demersal trawl and creel/pot

Species: Nephrops (Nephrops norvegicus)

Area: IV, VIa, VIIa

Gear: Demersal trawl, Creel

About the fishery:

Nephrops are a commercially important species of crustacean distributed throughout the northeast Atlantic from Iceland and the western coast of Norway in the north to the Atlantic coast of Morocco and the western and central Mediterranean. They are found predominantly in muddy sediment in which they build complex burrow systems, at depths of between 20 and 800m. Although they have a wide geographical range, there is no clear evidence of any significant migration between populations.

Total Annual Catch (TAC) quotas are set for each of the three ICES management divisions that overlay the Fishery, with total 2018 TAC set at 65,738t. Of this TAC, the West of Scotland, Irish Sea and North Sea Nehrops landed 42,622t (North Sea: 21,237t; West of Scotland: 11,842t; Irish Sea: 9,543t). Nephrops are predominantly landed by demersal trawl gear, accounting for 95% of landings, with the other 5% landed by creels. Scottish-registered vessels account for 67% of landings by weight, followed by Irish-registered vessels (27%) and English-registered vessels (6%).