We are pleased to announce that we have now V-notched and released the last batch of hen lobsters as part of our long running V-notching scheme.
Each year, since 2002, NIFCA have purchased, V-notched and released hen lobsters throughout the district. NIFCA Byelaw 6 prohibits the landing of a lobster with a V-notch cut in its tail, thereby protecting it from the fishery. The annual V-notching scheme therefore contributes to the reproductive potential of our local lobster stocks and it is well supported by pot fishermen in the district, many of whom attribute it to the sustainability of the fishery.
As part of the 2015 programme, NIFCA distributed V-notch pliers free of charge to all shellfish permit holders within the district, along with recording forms to capture levels of V-notching carried out by local fishermen themselves and estimate the proportion of female lobsters that are protected from the fishery. NIFCA also purchased lobsters for V-notching directly off fishermen during routine patrols. From July – October, a total of 1028 hen lobsters were V-notched and released across the whole district. We have also received several completed V-notching record forms from fishermen, which is providing valuable information on levels of V-notching that will inform future stock assessments.
NIFCA would like to extend sincere thanks to Blyth Fish Ltd. and D.R. Collins and Sons Ltd., as well as several local fishermen, for providing lobsters, without whom this scheme would not have been possible.
Please see the link below to a document from DEFRA explaining the dangers of releasing non-native species into our seas. With this document you will also find a fact sheet on how to identify a non-native species of lobster.