Southwest crab & lobster pot FIP


Brown/edible crab, Cancer pagurus
European lobster, Hommarus gammarus

Area: Western Channel & Celtic Sea. VII d-h

Gear: Pots/traps

crab lobster msc

About these fisheries:

Brown crab is distributed from Norway throughout the North Sea and English Channel to the coast of Portugal. The UK Western Channel and Celtic Sea edible crab fisheries comprise coastal inshore pot and trap fisheries prosecuted by smaller (mainly under-10m vessels) and deeper water, more offshore, fisheries conducted by larger vessels that split time between inshore and offshore locations. The smaller vessels tend to operate on an exclusively local basis.  The larger vessels tend to shift grounds seasonally, as they respond to economic pressures - movements that may take them to other parts of western European waters.

Fishery management jurisdiction is organised on two different scales around England. Beyond 6 nautical miles, Defra and the MMO are responsible for managing crab fisheries whereas from the coast out to 6 nautical miles, responsibility lies with the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs).

No TACs are set for the Western Channel & Celtic Sea edible crab fishery or the Southwest lobster fishery. 

Total landings of crab were around 8,000t for the areas covered by the Western Channel stock assessment for each of the years 2013-2015, comprising 5,000t from the UK, 2,000t from France, and 1,000t from the Channel Islands.  Landings for the Celtic Sea stock assessment area are estimated at 3,000t, comprising 2,000t from the UK, and 1,000t from Ireland. 

Total landings of lobster have been at between 200t and 300t for the area covered by the Southwest lobster stock unit for each of the years from 2006-2013.