Last updated on 28 September 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Cancer pagurus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Edible crab, Brown crab

The stock structure of edible (brown) crabs around Scotland is not completely understood. Although there is some migration between Orkney and Sule (Mesquita et al., 2011) it’s possible this could be a larval supply mechanism to counter prevailing currents (Hervás et al., 2012). Marine Scotland Science considers twelve assessment units, each of which assessed and managed separately (ICES, 2013; Barreto and Bailey, 2014).

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ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • An assessment is conducted with available data, allowing exploitation rates to be determined and growth overfishing detected.
  • The gear used has low environmental impacts.
Weaknesses
  • The assessment conducted only provides long-term trends assuming population equilibrium and cannot detect recruitment overfishing. Biomass or abundance can also not be estimated.
  • Fishing mortality for female stocks is close to FMAX while males are being fished above FMAX.
Options

Reliable effort data should be provided by fishers to enable LPUE to be determined and abundance estimated. If the currently assumed stock structure is accurate, growth parameters should be locally determined to improve the assessment quality. More regularity is required in discard sampling. It is important to assess the status of Nephrops caught in the fishery.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 8

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

NOT YET SCORED

Future Health:

≥ 6


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Review the FishSource profile and publish or share online relevant missing information in your possession or those accessible to you.
2. Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
3. Work with scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.
4. Encourage the institutionalization of data collection and publication.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Advise your suppliers that currently the FishSource profile reflects that there is not enough information publicly available on this fishery and you are unable to make an accurate determination of the sustainability status. Request that they advise the relevant authorities of the situation and that efforts need to be made to collect and publish data and disclose data sources to FishSource to better inform buying decisions.


FIPS

  • Orkney creel fishery:

    Stage 5, Progress Rating A

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Orkney Scotland Orkney United Kingdom Pots

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 28 November 2013

Strengths
  • An assessment is conducted with available data, allowing exploitation rates to be determined and growth overfishing detected.
  • The gear used has low environmental impacts.
Weaknesses
  • The assessment conducted only provides long-term trends assuming population equilibrium and cannot detect recruitment overfishing. Biomass or abundance can also not be estimated.
  • Fishing mortality for female stocks is close to FMAX while males are being fished above FMAX.
Options

Reliable effort data should be provided by fishers to enable LPUE to be determined and abundance estimated. If the currently assumed stock structure is accurate, growth parameters should be locally determined to improve the assessment quality. More regularity is required in discard sampling. It is important to assess the status of Nephrops caught in the fishery.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Review the FishSource profile and publish or share online relevant missing information in your possession or those accessible to you.
2. Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
3. Work with scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.
4. Encourage the institutionalization of data collection and publication.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Advise your suppliers that currently the FishSource profile reflects that there is not enough information publicly available on this fishery and you are unable to make an accurate determination of the sustainability status. Request that they advise the relevant authorities of the situation and that efforts need to be made to collect and publish data and disclose data sources to FishSource to better inform buying decisions.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 28 November 2013

Assessments are conducted by Marine Scotland Science and the most recent assessment, in 2011, considered data from 2006-2008. No effort data from the fishery is available. Size compositions from commercial catches and biological parameters are used to estimate fishing mortality for males and females separately via Length Cohort Analysis (LCA), in the absence of other data (Mesquita et al., 2011). Short-term trends in the stock are not identified by LCA and although growth overfishing can be detected by changes in length composition, recruitment overfishing (depletion of spawners) cannot be diagnosed (ICES, 2011). The assessment is very sensitive to changes in the biological parameters used. An exploratory analysis of mean size trends was conducted for the first time in 2011, aiming to add information on recruitment and fishing mortality (Mesquita et al., 2011). An EU project investigating ways of obtaining better information on catch and effort data through the use of self-sampling and GPS loggers to monitor fishing activity has been carried out (ICES, 2012a). Instead of a reliance on a single assessment technique such as LCA, the development of new measures or indices (for example landing per unit effort or recruitment) to inform about stock status and stock dynamics could improve the assessment of crab and lobster stocks (Mesquita et al., 2011).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 30 July 2012

Stock assessment results indicate that a reduction in the fishing mortality exerted on males to FMAX would result in a 2.5% increase in yield-per-recruit (Mesquita et al., 2011) butno specific catch levels areadvised.

Reference Points

Last updated on 30 Jul 2012

Stock status is assessed in evaluated in terms of FMAX, the fishing mortality that maximizes yield per recruit and defines growth overfishing. F0.1 is also determined (Mesquita et al., 2011).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 30 July 2012

The LCA analysis indicate females are being fished at close to FMAX and males above this level, so undergoing growth overfishing. Females compose around 70% of landings.

The exploratory trend analysis conducted for the first time indicated an increase in size of larger crabs in Orkney, interpretable as either a reduction in fishing mortality or as due to a change in fishing practices (Mesquita et al., 2011).

Trends

Last updated on 30 Jul 2012

Crab landings in Scotland have increased over the past 30 years as improved technology led to a larger offshore target fleet, and new markets have developed as live crab become transportable. Landings from Orkney have declined however over the past ten years, but this may be due to reduced market prices rather than reduced abundance (Mesquita et al., 2011).
High recruitment is thought to have occurred in 1996, 2001 and 2005, from market sampling data (Mesquita et al., 2011).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 30 July 2012

An EU-regulated minimum landing size of 140 mm is the principal management measure in Orkney. A shellfish license is required and the only catch limit in place is 25 crabs/day for non-license holders (Mesquita et al., 2011; ICES, 2012a). The current UK licensing scheme restricts entry of new vessels into the UK crab fishery, but it does not restrict the numbers of days or the number of pots that each vessel may fish(Seafish, 2013). The retention of detached crab claws is also limited (EU, 1998).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 30 Jul 2012

None in place.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 28 November 2013

Under-reporting of landings is thought to have been an issue in the past, but not since the 2005 introduction of buyers and sellers regulations (Mesquita et al., 2011). Discards in crab fisheries are sampled only on an irregular basis (ICES, 2012a).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 2 November 2012

There are reports of otter, a protected species in Scotland, bycatch in creel fisheries (Marine Scotland, 2008) although impacts are estimated to be low (Hervás et al., 2012). Sea turtle and marine mammal entanglement in pot ropes is also an issue (Hervás et al., 2012); leatherback turtles are globally critically endangered (Sarti Martinez, 2008) and there are reports of entanglement in Scottish pot fisheries although significance of bycatch rates to populations is not known (Pierpoint, 2000). A UK Turtle Code details how to report and untangle turtles (Hervás et al., 2012). Bycatch rates of right whales (IUCN Endangered; Reilly et al., 2008a), humpback whales (IUCN Least Concern; Reilly et al., 2008b) or minke whales (IUCN Least Concern; Reilly et al., 2008c) are not quantified (Hervás et al., 2012).

Other Species

Last updated on 30 July 2012

Scottish creel (pot) fisheries are mixed, also landing velvet swimcrab Necora puber and European lobster Homarus gammarus. Velvet crabs in Orkney are growth overfished as are male lobsters (Mesquita et al., 2011). Red crab Chaceon quinquedens, stone king crab Lithodes maja and green crab Carcinus maenas make up a minority of landings. Common spiny lobster Palinurus elephas and Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus may also be landed (Mesquita et al., 2011), but the state of the latter’s stock in the region is unknown (ICES, 2012b). There are reports that creels catch codling in offshore areas (Jaworski & Penny, 2009). Besides cod, undifferentiated ‘Rockling’ and ‘wrasse’ have been reported among finfish bycatch, as have ling, conger eel, dogfish, poor cod, pollack, saithe and haddock (Smith et al., 2010). Non-target species are usually released alive.

HABITAT

Last updated on 30 July 2012

Habitat impacts due to the gear type used are negligible, but ghost fishing due to lost gear is possible.

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 30 Jul 2012

No closed areas are defined for the fishery around Orkney. Special Protection Areas (SPAs) under the Birds Directive and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) with marine components are defined in inshore Orkney and a potential MPA location is being assessed in offshore Northwest Orkney related to sandeels. Surveying is being conducted around Orkney on the need for common skate protection measures (Marine Scotland, 2012).

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is < 6.

There are no management objectives; the stock is not quota or effort managed.

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

No specific management actions have been advised, but overfishing on males was noted in the 2009 assessment and a reduction in effort advised. The need to collect effort data was similarly raised previously (Mill et al., 2009).

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

There are no indications of under-reporting since the introduction of Buyers and Sellers regulations (Mesquita et al., 2011).

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

The mean 2006-2008 fishing mortality for female stocks (0.46) is close to FMAX (0.40) while males (0.48) are being fished above FMAX (0.31). Recruitment overfishing cannot be estimated (Mesquita et al., 2011).

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE RISK

High Medium Low

This indicates the potential risk of human rights abuses within this fishery.

No data available for biomass
No data available for biomass
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES
  1. FMAX levels are the only reference points defined – they are independent for males and females so score #5 is determined qualitatively.
  2. As no management plan is in use and no TACs are set, scores 1-3 are also determined qualitatively, based on available information.
  3. The assessment method cannot estimate biomass or abundance. Although length frequency data appears stable over time, as estimates of recruitment are not available the health of the stock (score #4) cannot be estimated.

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

SELECT FIP

Access FIP Public Report

Progress Rating: A
Evaluation Start Date: 20 Feb 2014
Type: Comprehensive

Comments:

FIP remains A rating - FIP in MSC full assessment 

*On 30 May '17, FIP entered into the MSC assessment process. 

1.
FIP Development
Mar 12
2.
FIP Launch
Feb 14
Feb 14
3.
FIP Implementation
Jun 16
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
Verifiable improvement in policy/management and fishing practices
5.
Improvements on the Water
May 17
6.
MSC certification (optional)
MSC certificate made public

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

Barreto, E. and Bailey, N. 2014. Fish and shellfish stocks, 2014 Edition. Marine Scotland Science, The Scottish Government, 60pp. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0045/00458803.pdf

Council Regulation (EC) No 850/98 of 30 March 1998 for the conservation of fishery resources through technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:1998R0850:20060117:EN:PDF

Hervás, A, F. Nimmo, T. Southall and P. Macintyre, 2012. MSC Sustainable Fisheries Certification: The SSMO Shetland inshore brown & velvet crab, lobster and scallop fishery. Public Certification Report, January 2012. http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/north-east-atlantic/shetland-inshore-crab-lobster-and-scallop/assessment-downloads-1/Public_Certification_Report_-Final_-ShetIS.pdf

ICES, 2011. Report of the Working Group on the Biology and Life History of Crabs (WGCRAB), 7–10 June 2011, ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2011/SSGEF:20. http://www.ices.dk/reports/SSGEF/2011/WGCRAB11.pdf

ICES, 2012a. Report of the Working Group on the Biology and Life History of Crabs (WGCRAB), 14–18 May 2012. ICES CM 2012/SSGEF:08 80pp. http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Expert%20Group%20Report/SSGEF/2012/WGCRAB12.pdf

ICES, 2012b. Report of the ICES Advisory Committee. Book 6: The North Sea. 6.4.14: Nephrops in Subarea IV (North Sea). http://www.ices.dk/committe/acom/comwork/report/2012/2012/Neph-IV.pdf

ICES, 2013. Report of the Working Group on the Biology and Life History of Crabs (WGCRAB), 27–31 May 2013, Dublin, Ireland. ICES CM 2013/SSGEF:10, 83 pp. http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Expert%20Group%20Report/SSGEF/2013/WGCRAB%202013.pdf

Jaworski, A. & I. Penny, 2009. Scottish Industry / Science Partnership (SISP) Report No 02/09. West of Four – effectiveness of Windsock area closure. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Uploads/Documents/SISP0209.pdf

Marine Scotland, 2006. Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2005. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2006/09/19141352/29

Marine Scotland, 2008. Consultation (second phase) on the European Fisheries Fund UK Operational Programme Part 17. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/05/19100136/17

Marine Scotland, 2012. Developing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – Fifth Workshop. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/marine/marine-environment/mpanetwork/engagement/270612

Mesquita, C., H. Dobby and A. McLay, 2011. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Report Volume 2 No 11 – Crab and Lobster Fisheries in Scotland:-Results of Stock Assessments 2006 – 2008. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/356486/0120494.pdf

Mill, A., H. Dobby, A. McLay & C. Mesquita, 2009. Marine Scotland Science Internal Report 16/09 Crab and Lobster Fisheries in Scotland: an Overview and Results of Stock Assessments, 2002-2005. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/295194/0101942.pdf

Pierpoint, C., 2000. Bycatch of marine turtles in UK and Irish waters. JNCC Report No 310. http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/pdf/jncc_310.pdf

Reilly, S.B., Bannister, J.L., Best, P.B., Brown, M., Brownell Jr., R.L., Butterworth, D.S., Clapham, P.J., Cooke, J., Donovan, G.P., Urbán, J. & Zerbini, A.N. 2008a. Eubalaena glacialis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. [Downloaded on 30 July 2012.] http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/41712/0

Reilly, S.B., Bannister, J.L., Best, P.B., Brown, M., Brownell Jr., R.L., Butterworth, D.S., Clapham, P.J., Cooke, J., Donovan, G.P., Urbán, J. & Zerbini, A.N. 2008b. Megaptera novaeangliae. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. [Downloaded on 30 July 2012.] http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13006/0

Reilly, S.B., Bannister, J.L., Best, P.B., Brown, M., Brownell Jr., R.L., Butterworth, D.S., Clapham, P.J., Cooke, J., Donovan, G.P., Urbán, J. & Zerbini, A.N. 2008c. Balaenoptera acutorostrata. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. [Downloaded on 30 July 2012.] http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/2474/0

Sarti Martinez, A.L. (Marine Turtle Specialist Group) 2000. Dermochelys coriacea. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. [Downloaded on 30 July 2012.] http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/6494/0

Seafish, 2013. Responsible Sourcing Guide: Crabs and lobsters. Version 4 – September 2013. 13pp http://www.seafish.org/media/publications/SeafishResponsibleSourcingGuide_CrabsLobsters_201309.pdf

Smith, P., I. Burrett, D. Bailey, F. Neat, D. Donnan, K. Dunlop, J. Thorburn, R. Milligan, S. Bastiman, J. Dodd, 2010. Scottish Industry Science Partnership Project. Development of methods for surveying nearshore fish populations, Ref. MS/0114. Final Report, November 2010. http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_209693_en.pdf

References

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