American Lobsters: Retain and Report

Cefas have today launched a campaign to raise awareness within the fishing community of the threat to native species from the non-native American lobster. This Defra-funded project encourages people to “retain and report” any American lobsters that they capture, to measure and reduce impacts they are having in our marine environment. The campaign aims to explain the legal position, how to identify an American lobster, the risks posed by the animals and the importance or retaining these and reporting them. Knowingly releasing a non-native species to the wild is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, including returning one to the sea at point of capture.

Eastern IFCA officers will be one point of contact for fishers to report to if they suspect they have caught American lobsters.

Posters and leaflets designed to help identify the key features commonly associated with American lobster compared to European lobster, along with contact details to report suspected American lobsters have been produced by Cefas and are available on the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat website. Similar campaigns are planned in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in 2020.

For more information on American lobsters and the retain and report initiative, see

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