Fisherman are growing increasingly concerned after hundreds of foreign lobster and crabs have been caught off the Sussex coast.
Over the past week, non-native species of Canadian lobster and crabs from America have been scooped in fishermen’s nets which, they say, are endangering the indigenous population.
In the past few days alone, local anglers estimate to have netted hundreds of the Canadian lobsters, which can carry diseases that prove lethal to their European cousins.
The sudden rise in the two species has prompted swift action from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
A spokesperson for the MMO said: “Under no circumstances should any non-native species be released back into the sea as release could impact native species and constitute an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.”
The MMO is now urging anyone who catches non-native lobsters or crabs to keep the animals and report it to the Shoreham MMO office on 01273 424849, or take them to a local fish merchant who can report it.
The MMO is investigating to see if any criminal action has taken place.
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