§ Mr. Morley
The responses to our consultation last Summer on improved conservation measures for shellfish proposed by the Fisheries Conservation Group were generally very positive.
In the light of this clear endorsement, the Government have decided that legislation should be laid, to increase from 1 January 2000, the minimum landing sizes of lobster, edible crab, and male spider crab landed into the UK from British registered fishing vessels.
From the same day, the landing of any lobster or crawfish which has been V-notched would also be prohibited. In Northern Ireland, the current Great Britain landing size of 65mm carapace width for velvet crab will be introduced there at the same time.
The landing size for whelks will be 45mm. This recognises concerns expressed in the consultation exercise that, in some parts of the country, 45mm was the largest size of whelk found and larger size was impracticable.
These moves are aimed at conserving shellfish stocks and clearly illustrate our commitment to work with the industry.429W
Full details are in the table:
mm Minimum landing sizes from 1 January 2000 Minimum EU requirement UK size Lobsters: 185 87 Edible crabs: North Sea south of 56°N (except the 'Cromer' fishery) to the Essex/Kent border 115 130 The 'Cromer' fishery (the coasts of Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk) 115 115 Scottish West coast and North Sea north of 56°N (including the whole of the Firth of Forth) 140 140 North of 55°N on the west coast of Scotland (but including Loch Ryan) 130 140 South of 56°N on the west coast except ICES areas VIId, e and f 130 130 Off Devon, Cornwall and the Scilly Isles within ICES Vile and f 140 males-160 females-140 The Bristol Channel and the remainder of the English Channel 140 140 Velvet crabs: none set 65 Spider crabs: 120 males-130 females-120 Whelks: 45 45 1 87mm from 1 January 2002