Sussex fisherman Sean Hunter was fishing six miles south of Littlehampton and caught what he believes to be a saltwater crawfish, reports John Periam.

“They are not known to be a regular occurrence in these waters,” said Sean. “According to a local fisheries officer, this is only about the fourth one he’s heard of being caught, in over 20 years. I fish in my open 24ft netting boat Doodlebug, and I and other local fishermen have been catching more unusual fish recently – including small halibut and a Chinese mitten crab.

“I understand saltwater crawfish are found more off the coast of Cornwall and in some areas in North Scotland. It certainly surprised me when I caught it.”

Sean took it along to Browns Seafoods in Littlehampton, his regular fish wholesaler, where they arranged to get it taken to a local aquarium. The saltwater crawfish is considered by many to be much tastier than the normal lobster and attracts a much higher price in fish markets. Merritt-Dlann, Browns’ sales manager said: “We get some odd catches at times and I haven’t seen one of these before. It is appreciated when fishermen bring these different species along to us. We let the relevant authorities know so that they can be duly recorded on file.”

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