NORWAY LOBSTER (Nephrops norvegicus)
Distribution of the Norway lobster (also known as the Dublin Bay prawn, langoustine and scampi) depends upon suitable substrate of mud and sandy-mud which is required for burrow construction. Tagging experiments show adult movement to be very localised. Dispersal of the planktonic larval stages is not well known. In general, the Moray Firth stock is believed to be self-contained by residual currents. Maturity is reached at about 2-3 years and spawning takes place from August-November with hatching from late April to August.
The Norway lobster is now the most important commercial fishing in the Moray Firth, in terms of value at first sale. Buckie is one of the main Scottish ports with a fleet of nephrops trawlers. In 1962 bye-laws made concessions to boats less than 70ft to trawl for nephrops in the Moray Firth and the fishery has become increasingly important since catches of pelagic and demersal fish have declined. Landings have now stabilised but the mean size of Norway Lobsters in the landings, which can indicate the condition of the stock, has declined in the Moray Firth. In general, Scottish stocks are believed to be either fully or over-exploited.