This consultation seeks views on:
- increasing the minimum landing size ( MLS) for velvet crab ( Necora puber) landed into Orkney from 65 mm to 70 mm carapace width
- increasing the MLS for lobster ( Homarus gammarus) landed into Orkney from 87 mm to 90 mm carapace length over a three year period
- introducing a MLS for green crab ( Carcinus maenas) landed into Orkney of 70 mm carapace width
- prohibiting the landing of berried velvet crab ( Necora puber) caught in the six nautical miles around Orkney
- whether there should be new restrictions on carriage in the six nautical miles around Orkney to accompany these measures
Landings of these species were worth £2.5 million to the economy of Orkney in 2013, and more when processing and other related activities are included.
The velvet crab and lobster stocks around Orkney are both currently assessed to be fished at levels close to or above the F MSY proxy. F MSY is the fishing mortality consistent with the largest average yield that can continuously be taken from a stock under prevailing environmental conditions. When a stock is fished above F MSY, it is advisable that measures be introduced to reduce fishing mortality to achieve a higher yield and biomass in the long term. There is currently no assessment of the green crab stock around Orkney.
These measures were developed and proposed by Orkney Sustainable Fisheries Ltd, which is part of the Inshore Fisheries Group network, and are intended to help improve the sustainability of these fisheries through the regulation of harvesting controls.