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.