Random Jottings

Changes to the shellfish quotas in Northumbrian Area

The old by-laws regarding the taking of shellfish in my stamping ground were always a bit awkward........

It used to be the case that the boat could take 1 lobster, 5 crabs and 20 scallops (whelks) in a day, not an issue unless the first diver back had scragged a lobster and anyone else coming back with 'food' either had to argue or return his goodies.

Now the regulations produced for 2017 have changed to something a tad more sensible!

In byelaw 4 - Crustacea and Molluscs permitting and Pot Limitation

Section - Prohibition

Clause - D ii

A person must not fish for or take any specified shellfish except where that person is fishing for or taking specified shellfish by diving and they do not take more than 1 lobster, 5 edible crabs or velvet crabs, 20 whelks or 5 prawns in any day

So in summary if a boat has ten divers each may take his or her limit, although this may change based on stock levels. Talking with the chief officer he cannot forsee this particular rule changing as divers take, in a year, a fraction of what boats take in a day.

Whilst you can celebrate this small victory please remember that some harbours don't like the landing of shellfish so for crying out loud if you must scrag a lobbie please, please, please keep it in a closed bag and no trophy shots on the pier please!

All of you budding hunters must remember that as far as lobsters are concerned you must leave them if they are V notched or have a mutilated tail, also leave them if they are soft and you can't rip off claws and keep them, that's a big no no anyway.

Regarding crabs you cant keep them if they are soft or berried.....I am not sure why the berried clause applies to crabs and not lobsters although I have been informed that you may be restricted in the taking of berried lobsters from 2018 onwards.

So there you go some changes and 'good news'!

Dive safe




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