The Irish Sea prawn fishery is showing encouraging present and future signs.

Above: The Kilkeel inshore prawn trawlers Jack the Lad and Children’s Hope in Eyemouth last month.

Following above-average fishing on the traditional prawn grounds on the western side of the Irish Sea during the summer months, at £13.5m, the value of Nephrops landed in the first eight months of this year is 10% higher than the comparable 2015 total of £12.3m.

Further encouragement came last month in the form of ICES advice for area VII, with the recommendation that the TAC should be increased from 8,000t to 11,000t.

Irish Sea Nephrops

The Portavogie trawler Rhodanna, landing prawns in to her home port.


In keeping with the usual seasonal phenomena for this time of year, prawn catches have dropped dramatically in the past two months, during which time spells of poor weather have also restricted fishing activities.

Following their usual practice, most of the Portavogie prawn trawlers have been working the Clyde grounds in recent weeks, when landing into either Campbeltown or Troon before steaming down the North Channel on a Thursday night to make their last landing of the week at their home port.

The new gear regulations now in place for the seasonal autumn/winter Nephrops fishery in the Farne Deeps, which represent considerable initial outlay for skippers, has seen fewer trawlers leave Co Down for the North Sea to fish out of Eyemouth, Blyth and North Shields than has been the case in previous years.

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