Isles of Scilly Lobster and Crawfish Tagging Project

07 July 2015

The Isles of Scilly have recently obtained funding from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) to undertake a Data Storage Tagging project on both the European Common lobster (Homarus gammarus) and the European Spiny Lobster (Palinurus elephas), also referred to as the crawfish, which are two species of large decapod crustacean with a natural distribution encompassing the United Kingdom. Both are commercially important, however a decline in populations of P.elephas has lead to very few fisheries for the species remaining, one such fishery is found on the Isles of Scilly. Situated 28 miles from the most south-western extent of mainland UK, the Isles of Scilly consist of over 200 granite islands covering approximately 1600ha and are renowned as a pristine marine environment, important to many nationally rare, threatened or vulnerable marine species and habitats. The islands shellfish industry consists of twenty three vessels and is still an important economic sector providing employment for a much larger number of people, relatively, than in the rest of the South West UK.

By Daisy Kelly-Fletcher & Douglas Holt

 An interim report on this project is available here

Attaching the DST 'backpack' onto the Spiny Lobster

Doug Holt, Fisheries Officer at the Isles of Scilly IFCA says.....

"Meet Ernie the newest member of the IOS IFCA team.
Ernie is modeling our new spring/summer collection of Data Storage Tag (DST) 'backpack'.
There will be 16 Spiny Lobsters carrying around these DST 'backpacks'.
These units will give us an insight into where these little guys hang out over the summer and where they choose to holiday in the winter months."

Spiny Lobster with DST attached

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