Skipper Ray Manson and crew member Wick Ramsay of Snowy Owl SD 76 were shocked to find a Canadian lobster on Sunday 23 July when hauling pots off Sunderland.

Ray Manson said: “I knew as soon as I saw it that it wasn’t a local lobster. It was sitting side-by-side with one and the difference was clear. I have never caught a Canadian lobster before. How are they being introduced to the North Sea?”

Tim Smith from the North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NEIFCA), who sent images of the lobster to CEFAS, said: “As well as this case in Sunderland, we also caught a Canadian lobster earlier this year on 30 March off Whitby. It is worrying to see two sightings so close together. We are asking all fishermen to keep a lookout and report any unusual lobsters to their local IFCA or to CEFAS.

“The key ID features are the colouring and the rostrum details – extra ventral teeth and red tips instead of white tips.”

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