Lobster, Norway, Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi

Nephrops norvegicus

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea (Norwegian Deep)
Stock detail

IVa (FU 32)

Picture of Lobster, Norway, Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi

Sustainability rating four info

Sustainability overview

The state of the stock in this area is unknown.

To ensure exploitation is in line with the size of the local population,and so better protect the stock, scientists advise that management should be implemented at the functional unit (FU) level. Currently there is no localized management of stocks which has resulted in the overfishing and depletion of some Nephrops populations like the Farn Deeps.


Norway Lobster (also known as langoustine or scampi) live in burrows on the seabed. They are limited to a muddy habitat and require sediment with a silt and clay content to excavate burrows. Their distribution therefore is determined by the availability of suitable habitat. They occur over a wide area in the North East Atlantic, from Iceland to North Africa and into the Mediterranean, and constitute a valuable fishery for many countries. Males grow relatively quickly to around 6 cm, but seldom exceed 10 years old. Females grow more slowly and can reach 20 years old. Females mature at about 3 years. In the autumn they lay eggs which remain attached to the tail for 9 months (known as being “berried”). During this time the berried females rarely emerge from their burrows and therefore do not commonly appear in trawl catches, although they may be caught using baited creels. This habit of remaining in their burrows has probably afforded their populations some resilience to fishing pressure. Egg hatching occurs in the spring, and females emerge in spring/summer to moult and mate.

Stock information

Stock Area

North Sea (Norwegian Deep)

Stock information

The state of this stock is unknown. Based on the assumed low density (based on lowest observed density at FU 7, Fladen Ground), harvest rates are considered low for this stock and catches have been decreasing since 2006.
ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied, catches in each or the years 2017 and 2018 should be no more than 496 tonnes. If this stock is not under the EU landing obligation in 2017 and 2018 and discard rates do not change from the average of the last 10 years (2006?2015), this implies landings of no more than 464 tonnes.


The EU fisheries are managed by a separate TAC for this area, which for 2006-2008 was 1300 t, but decreased to 1200 t in 2009-2012, and further to 1000 t in 2013-2014. The TAC has not been taken the last seven years. The minimum legal size is 40 mm carapace length (CL). Discarding of Nephrops is prohibited in Norwegian fisheries.
Under the EU landings Obligation (Discard ban) there are two exemptions in place for vessels fishing for Nephrops: A High survival rate exemption allows animals below the Minimum Conservation Size (MCS) or undersized Nephrops to be returned to the sea or discarded. It also allows Unwanted animals to be discarded if taken in pots or in trawls provided a selectivity device is fitted; A De Minimus exemption also allows vessels to discard a limited amount of Nephrops below the MCS.

Capture Information

Nephrops in FU 32 are caught in 120 mm trawls (mixed fishery), as bycatch in shrimp trawls, and in creels. The stock is fished by Danish and Norwegian fishers, where the Danish vessels take the majority of landings (67% in 2013). Total catch (2015) 199 t of which 192 t were official landings (61% trawls and 39% creels). Discards of Nephrops by the Danish fleet are around 4% and zero by the Norwegian fleet. As of 2012, all EU, Faroese and Norwegian vessels which exceed 12m overall length must be fitted with a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), a form of satellite tracking using transmitters on board fishing vessels to monitor fishing activity. The system is a legal requirement under EC Regulation 2244/2003 and Scottish Statutory Instrument (SI) 392/2004.


ICES Advice 2016, Book 6 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/nep-32.pdf