Homarus gammarus

This is a crustacean from the family Decapoda (ten limbs) with a dark blue exoskeleton that goes red when cooked. Lobsters have two claws, one for crushing and one for slicing.

They are found from Scandinavia to North Africa, where they live in solitary shelters in rocky seabed areas. They can grow up to 600mm (total length) but are usually caught at around 300mm. The main season is from July to September.

The legal minimum landing size for European Lobster is a carapace (head) length of 87mm. This allows a female to produce eggs at least once, ensuring a continuation of breeding stock. Another conservation measure employed by fishermen is to put a ‘v-notch’ (two small v shaped cuts) in the tail of the lobster which is visible for several shell casts. It is illegal to land a v-notched lobster making this an effective conservation tool. Independent Shellfish v-notched 1800 lobsters in 2012 for release back into the sea.