American lobster prevention

American lobster
The impact of American lobsters (Homarus americanus) across the EU has been debated in recent years and has resulted in a decision to implement national controls that balance the needs of the industry with protecting the environment.

It is an offence to release American lobsters to the wild in Great Britain, including returning to the sea at point of capture, or to allow them to escape.

The EU debate closely followed by a mass release of American lobsters off the south coast of England, as part of a religious ceremony, further highlighted the need to raise awareness around this issue. Read more in this GOV.UK news story (external link).
American lobster

Retain & Report

An awareness campaign “RETAIN & REPORT” has been launched in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to make our fishing fleet aware of the need for vigilance.

England
A poster and leaflet have been circulated in England that explain the issues and highlight how to identify the two species.

Scotland
Read a Marine Scotland blog (external link) on the campaign in Scotland.

Northern Ireland
Find out more about the Retain & Report campaign in Northern Ireland (external link)

What should I do if I find an American lobster or a hybrid?

Anyone finding a potential American lobster or a hybrid lobster (offspring of an American lobster & a European lobster) should retain the animal and report it as soon as possible to the following contacts:

England
Scotland
Wales
Northern Ireland
By retaining and reporting American lobsters you are helping to protect native stocks and the competent authorities will be in a stronger position to make informed decisions regarding future policies in relation to this species and enable us to work to protect both the trade in live American lobsters for consumption and wild stocks of European lobsters (Homarus gammarus).

If you have any questions relating to this initiative then please contact the relevant authority:

England:   or by post: 2nd Floor, Horizon House, Bristol, BS1 5TL.
Scotland: or by post: Area 1B North, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ, or telephone: 0131 271 9700.

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