Press release

Reporting non-native crabs and lobsters along Sussex Coast

What to do if you find Canadian Homarus americanus lobsters and Dungeness Cancer magister crabs

Homarus americanus

As reported by the MMO, there have been a number of non-native lobsters (Canadian Homarus americanus) and crabs (Dungeness Metacarcinus magister) released into the sea off the Sussex coast.

The Fish Health Inspectorate are involved in the situation. Below is a short guide on how to deal with the landings:

  • the animals cannot be released back into the sea once captured – this is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
  • please report landings to the Fish Health Inspectorate on 01305 206 700 or by email. Record the species, numbers caught, sex and where the animals were caught
  • animals can be landed but cannot be re-immersed - unless held in facilities which are compliant under the Lobster Deposit Order License
  • the animals can be sold direct for human consumption, as long as they are not re-immersed or re-introduced into the wild

The MMO have asked for anyone who catches a non-native lobster or crabs to keep the animals (regardless of size) and report it to the MMO office at Shoreham on 01273 424849. Or you can take them to a local fish merchant, who will alert the MMO.

Published 19 June 2015