Common name - Norway Lobster, Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi
Scientific name - Nephrops norvegicus
Caught at sea Demersal otter trawl
Capture Area North East Atlantic FAO 27
Stock Area Skagerrak and Kattegat
Stock Detail IIIa (Management Area E, FU 3-4)
Recent survey and effort data suggest the stock is exploited sustainably. Nephrops are caught predominantly by bottom trawling. Trawl fisheries for scampi (nephrops) are associated with large quantities of bycatch, including protected species such as cod, and juvenile fish. Increase the sustainability of the scampi you eat by choosing pot or creel caught rather than trawled scampi. If choosing trawled fish ask for Nephrops trawled in nets using separator grids and larger meshes to increase their selectivity and reduce bycatch and discards.
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 6cm, 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 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.
Nephrops stock assessment and management is based on a system of management units (A-R), which broadly coincide with ICES areas, and functional units (FU)(1-33), which cover the distribution of the species, particularly in relation to suitable habitat types. In part due to the difficulty of assessing stocks, which may spend significant amounts of time in burrows, a fishery independent survey method using video surveys has been developed, which uses burrow density to estimate stock biomass. This technique is now widely, though not comprehensively, used within the management units, enabling recommended TACs and management advice to be provided by ICES. Fisheries landings data are also available to augment the video survey data. Recent survey and effort data suggest an increase in abundance and that the stock is exploited sustainably. ICES advises that landings in 2014 be no more than 5019 t (5200 t in 2013).
Nephrops are caught predominantly by bottom trawling, which can damage the seabed in vulnerable areas, and can also lead to the bycatch of overfished species. Discarding of undersize nephrops and other fish species is problematic in trawl fisheries. Cod, plaice and sole are significant bycatch species in these fisheries. Females are mainly caught in the summer months. When carrying eggs (known as being "berried "), which usually occurs between early autumn and spring of the next year, they stay in their burrows and cannot be caught by trawls. However, in fisheries where there is high fishing effort in summer, fishing mortality can be as high on females as on males. The minimum landing size for nephrops in EU waters is 20-25mm (40mm Skagerrak/Kattegat) total carapace length depending on area of capture. High amounts of discards (52% in weight in 2012) in this area is attributed to the high minimum landing size (40 mm carapace length). Part of the trawl fishery operates with species-selective gears (35 mm grid and 70 mm square mesh codend or SELTRA trawls carrying 90 mm diamond mesh codends with large mesh panels). The mixed fishery fo whitefish and Nephrops now has a minimum mesh size of 120 mm (diamond mesh).
ICES Advice 2013, Book 6
(Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 3 and below are included.)
Read what the consumer pages of the Good Fish Guide say about this species.
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