Research aims to ensure sustainability of brown crabs on Northumberland coast

Brown crabs on the Northumberland coast are the focus of a major new piece of research.

Monday, 4th February 2019, 14:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:31 pm
Brown crabs landed at Boulmer. Picture by Jane Coltman

Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA) has appointed research officer Andrew Boon as part of its project to assess the brown crab stocks within its district, which stretches from the Scottish Border to the River Tyne.

The project, which is funded by North of Tyne Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), will aim to enhance and develop the existing understanding NIFCA has on the brown crab fishery, which is long-established and has real commercial importance.

Andrew Boon, NIFCAs new research officer.

Andrew will be working closely with fishing vessels and fishers throughout the district and in southern Scotland, recording all relevant aspects of the catches of brown crab for each vessel while at sea.

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The data collected during these surveys will assist with NIFCA’s plans and future management of the fishery to achieve its long-term sustainability, to the benefit of the local fishing industry as well as the marine environment.

Andrew has a Master’s degree in marine science and a wealth of experience working as an environmental and scientific Officer for North Eastern IFCA (between the River Tyne and the Humber).

“I see this project as a fantastic opportunity to build upon the existing knowledge regarding the health and sustainability of the local brown crab fishery and I look forward to working closely with the local industry, whose experience and knowledge will be vital to the success of this project,” he said.

“It’s also a great opportunity to work alongside the North of Tyne FLAG and continue their valued work supporting the local fishing industry.”

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service