Beginning in October 2021, NEIFCA has been supporting a joint agency investigation into shellfish mortalities observed between Teesside and Robin Hoods Bay in North Yorkshire. The events were characterised by reports of dead and dying crab and lobster found washed up on beaches and in fishing pots, with animals displaying ‘twitching’ and lethargic behaviour as well as an inability to self-right.
Since October, fishermen from Hartlepool to Scarborough have been reporting reduced catch rates, particularly from fishing grounds within 3 NM, raising concerns about the state of the crab and lobster stocks. In order to assess the scale of any potential impacts arising from the events of late 2021 and to monitor the recovery of the stocks, NEIFCA has been undertaking potting surveys from its research vessel, North Eastern Guardian III, and carrying out observer trips aboard commercial vessels working in the impacted area.
In addition, an assessment of landings data by region and by port has been undertaken to determine if overall landings figures for the past year have varied significantly from previous years.
The report can be accessed using the below link:
Tees and North Yorkshire stock monitoring report