Fisheries, Aquaculture, & Sustainable Seafood

Are all of Scotland’s prawns in (the bottom of) one basket?

Following on from my post a few days ago regarding a new paper by Leigh Howarth and colleagues at the University of York, UK it appears that the Scottish Fladen Ground nephrop (aka prawn) fishery has hit hard times.  Last year, the industry had poor catches, and so far this year things haven’t really picked up.  This is a huge hit for Scotland’s second most valuable fishery, and the largest nephrops fishery in the world.

The Scottish Government have released a summary report just today indicating that environmental conditions are a key player in the decline….

“In common with many other species, populations of Nephrops fluctuate as a result of factors affecting the production and survival of young Nephrops. It is not clear precisely why the current decline has occurred.

In addition to this decline, recent unusual environmental conditions appear to be limiting the emergence of the Nephrops from the burrows in which they live, this in turn is limiting the opportunities for a fishery. The reasons for this are unclear but this may be because of lower than usual water temperatures or prolonged spells of severe weather in the winter which have affected the hydrodynamics of the region.”

As Leigh suggested, putting all our eggs in (the bottom of) one basket isn’t necessarily the wisest choice..

Image: Credit Graeme Churchard/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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