Spider crab off UK coasts, pots and traps
- Content last updated
- 13 April 2016
- Spider crab off UK coasts
- EU and local Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities
- Stock Status
Spider crab off UK coasts has been scored a high risk. There are difficulties of finding an easily monitored and reliable indicator of stock status so abundance trends are unknown. Growth rates are uncertain but the minimum conservation reference size (minimum landing size) is potentially instrumental in conserving spawning stock.
The management of spider crab off West and South west UK coasts has been scored a moderate risk. This is because the management control in place, the minimum conservation reference size (minimum landing size), is rational in relation to the life-history of the species. Whilst this measure is enforced there is no monitoring of stock status.
The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored as low risk. This is because significant discarding of undersized spider and undersized bycatch of edible crabs and lobster occurs, but these are released alive on hauling and survival rates are believed to be high. Catch of protected, endangered and threatened species is minimal. “Ghost fishing” by lost pots is not considered to be a problem.
The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored as low risk. This is because evidence suggests fishery impact on the bottom is restricted to some abrasion caused by dragging pots and anchors during hauling and tide and wave action (Grieve et al., 2014). The static gear used to prosecute the fishery is in contact with the bottom, but unlikely to have significant interaction with vulnerable habitats. Vulnerable marine habitats are protected within Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR, 2013) and any kind of fishery there might be controlled if deemed necessary.