Good news for lobsters as England set to ban landings of egg bearing females

Date posted: 13 September 2017

Following a consultation on the prohibition of landing eggbearing lobsters and crawfish in England, which included a response from MCS, the Government has announced that it will introduce a ban by October 1st this year.

© Paul Naylor

The Government said it had considered the 155 responses to the consultation, the majority of which supported the proposal, and had therefore decided to proceed with the introduction of a ban.

Protection of egg-bearing females essential for stock recovery.

MCS Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Samuel Stone, says it’s great news for lobsters: “There’s concern over the exploitation rates of these species and this ban will help to reduce overfishing and give the best chance for the lobsters to successfully reproduce and contribute top their populations. We have long urged people not to buy egg-bearing females (also known as berried), so a ban is great news and brings the whole of England into line with best practices already in place in some of the English Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs).

The ban will apply to any berried lobster or crawfish caught within English waters by British or Scottish fishing boats or landed in England by a British or Scottish fishing boat. Enforcement of the ban will take place either where the lobster is landed or at sea. Inspectors will decide what action is appropriate if berried lobsters or crawfish are found on-board. The ban will also apply to any lobster or crawfish that can be shown to have been carrying eggs when it was fished and in order to enforce this the Marine Management Organisation and local Inshore Fishery Conservation Authorities will invest in kits that detect whether eggs have been removed after they have been landed.

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