Species Champions: Spiny lobster

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The European spiny lobster is one of the most visually amazing species in British waters. They are bright yellow and orange in colour, occasional sporting purple tinges, with very long antenna which are often longer than their bodies. It is covered in strong spines which protect it from predators, and powerful tail muscles which let it attack or escape, as its front claws are not very large or strong.

The Spiny lobster is a scavenger, often hiding in crevices with its antennae poking out to detect and collect food from the seabed. Its very large eyes allow it to see well at night, although they are occasionally seen during the day as well. Spiny lobster is eaten around the UK and fisheries are important to local economies, but their numbers have declined dramatically in the past 20 years.

Action Needed

1. Press for a ban on trawling in areas where Spiny lobster is abundant.
2. Support measures to tackle pollution in these areas.
3. Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.

Threats

• Unintentional by-catch, as their spines catch in trawler nets.
• Polluted water and poor environmental conditions affect sensitive new-born spiny lobsters.

MSP Species Champion

Stewart Stevenson

Member for: Banffshire and Buchan Coast

Party: Scottish National Party

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