Fishing Methods

The majority of Irish Brown Crabs are captured in baited pots.

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Irish vessels meet stringent standards of quality, consistency and traceability and many particpate in a voluntary Seafood Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) in order to ensure the future viability of this valuable resource.

Irish brown crab are predominantly caught using baited side-entry pots.

Pots are fixed individually or on strings of up to 100 pots with an anchor and buoy at each end. This fishing method has a low impact on the environment and is very selective, thereby greatly limiting the by-catch of other species.

Irish vivier vessels and vessels between 10 and 14m are responsible for around 90% of Irish brown crab landings. A large number of smaller vessels catch Irish brown crab inshore and also target lobsters in these locations.

Irish vivier vessels between 12 and 25m hold Irish brown crab live onboard using tanks of circulating seawater. On landing, they unload their catch into vivier lorries which have sophisticated temperature controlled aerated seawater systems. These are capable of keeping the Irish brown crab alive until they reach their final destination, usually either in France or Spain.

Irish brown crab is an annual fishery with a peak of fishing in late summer and autumn when the catch goes mostly to processing plants around the coast but there is also a peak of fishing activity in December for the Christmas market.