Velvet swimming crab in Shetland inshore waters
- Content last updated
- 19 June 2018
- Velvet swimming crab Shetland stock
- Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO)
- Stock Status
Very high risk
Velvet crab in Shetland inshore waters, has been scored a very high risk. This is because in the most recent assessment, one indicator (sex ratio) is below the lower reference limit and two other reference points (LPUE (kg/creel) and mean male size) are below the upper reference point level.
The management of velvet swimming crabs up to the six mile limit has been scored as low risk. There is a suite of management controls that are implemented as well as back up controls that can be implemented if Landings per Unit Effort (LPUE) or other reference points are found to be outside set values. The enforcement of management controls is mostly done via logbook data as well as occasional compliance patrols.
The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored as low risk. This is because whilst discarding of undersized and unwanted crabs occurs, 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 although the gear touches the seafloor it is unlikely to have a significant effect on habitats.