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IN round figures the fisheries of the United Kingdom employ about
65,000 men, or in all give employment to double’ that number of people, so that, with dependants, approximately half a million of the population of the country depend upon this industry.2 The annual catch is about a million tons, and the fishing fleet numbers over 12,000 vessels. According to FAO, the world production of sea- fish is 21,000,000 metric tons annually, so that Britain’s share is about 5 per cent. of the world’s total. So far as sea fishing is conc erned, the British fisheries are possibly the most highly organised in the world, with the possible single exception of Japan. No country has so great a fleet of such large and powerful steam vessels for deep- sea fishing. On the other hand, the inland and freshwater fisheries are comparatively unimportant, with the exception of salmon which are still exploited commercially, especially in the rivers of Scotland and Ireland. River fishing in Britain is now mainly reserved for sport and recreation, whilst the waters of many a once-famous salmon or trout stream have become polluted and almost devoid of fish.

“Wet” fish, as distinct from shell-fish, fall into two main classes— pelagic and demersal. Pelagic fish, literally “ocean” fish, are those which live in the surface waters, feeding there on the immense numbers of plankton, or tiny organisms, the abundance or otherwise of which determines to a very large extent the size and the numbers of the fish. Pelagic fish tend to occur in large numbers or shoals, and by far the most important in the British fisheries is the herring. Others of importance are the pilchard and the mackerel. Although they are free swimming, these pelagic fish are by no means indep endent of the depth of the water or the character of the bottom, for they spawn on the floor of the sea. Demersal fish, known to the trade as “white” fish, are fish normally found feeding at the bottom of the sea, including both flat-fish such as plaice and sole as well as free-swimming fish such as cod and haddock. In pre-1914 years,

Number employed in fishing industry, 1921: England and Wales, 40,000; Scotland,
25,500. In 1931 the figures were 41,000 and 22,500. In 1951 36,882 fishermen were regularly employed and 5,039 occasionally employed in Great Britain. owing to the enormous importance of the herring, roughly equal quantities of pelagic and demersal fish were landed at ports in the British Isles, although the value of the demersal was roughly double that of the pelagic. In the inter-war years both the quantity and value of the demersal fish became relatively much greater than those of the pelagic. In recent years this trend has continued, so that the weight of demersal fish landed is three or four times that of pelagic. The attached table shows the quantity and value of the two main types of fish of British taking landed at ports in England and Wales in recent years. Demersal Pelagic Total wet fish

fishing landed in UK 1925 - 1951 Although the fishing grounds visited by British vessels and from which fish are landed at British ports extend from Greenland, Iceland, Bear Island, and Spitsbergefl on the north to Morocco on the south, and from the Barents Sea on the east to the west of Scotland, Rockall, and the south-west of Ireland, it is the character of the Continental shelf surrounding the British Isles themselves which must be regarded as in the main responsible for the rise to importance of the British fishing industry. The weight of the fish landed in Britain caught by the trawl, which can only be used in shallow water, has increased from about two-thirds in the inter-war years to over 87 per cent. in 1951. There is no trawling at a greater depththan 250 fathoms, that is 1,500 feet, and very little at a greater depth than 200 fathoms, or 1,200 feet, whilst a great deal of the trawling is carried out in water very much shallower than this. It will, therefore, be an advantage to study the submarine contours round the British Isles and to see what limits these place on the possible fishing grounds. It will be seen that the British Isles rest on a broad Continental shelf and are entirely surrounded by shallow water, as are Iceland, the Faeroes, and Rockall.1 The North Sea,
1 See A. H. W. Robinson “The Floor of the British Seas,” Scot. Geog. Mag.,
68, 1952, 64—79.

except for a deep channel off the coast of Norway, is everywhere less than 100 fathoms in depth. The northern part is 40—100 fathoms, but the southern half is everywhere less than 50 fathoms, or 300 feet. There is thus in the North Sea, on the whole, a gradual decrease in depth from north to south; but this gradual shallowing is interrupted by numerous banks and deeper depressions called pits. The largest and most important of the banks is the well-known Dogger Bank, which, with an area of something like 7,000 square miles, is covered by water only 10—20 fathoms deep. Not only do these shallow seas with their sandy or rock-free floors afford excellent fishing grounds where the trawl net can be used to the greatest advantage, but they also provide spawning and breeding grounds which are obviously essential to the maintenance of the supply of fish. Further, there is that absence of stagnation and monotony of conditions which might prove fatal. There are the movement of the tides round the British Isles and the warm drift of water from the North Atlantic drift, the seasonal variations in temperature, salinity, and the character of the bottom deposits which give the necessary variation of conditions for the different species of fish or to the same species of fish at different stages of development. The fish must depend ultimately for their supply of food on plankton. Plankton consist of (a) minute plants, particularly diatoms and algae, which, like land plants, are capable under the influence of light of transforming inorganic substances into organic material, thus rendering it available as fish food, tog ether with (b) enormous numbers of small sea animals, such as small crustacea, hydrozoa, foraminifera, niollusca, etc., whilst together with the whole mass are huge quantities of the spawn of demersal fish. Indeed, it is the spawn of the demersal fish which suffer particularly from a paucity of plankton foodstuffs. A paucity of plankton means a heavy mortality amongst fish spawn, the effect of which will not be felt as far as the fisheries are concerned until some years later.
A map has been included to show the main fishing grounds from which landings of fish are provided for British ports. Each fishing boat, on arriving in port, is compelled to declare not only the type of fish caught but the area from which the fish has been obtained. For purposes of classification the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has distinguished somewhat arbitrarily the fishing grounds which are marked on the map. As might be thought, easily the most important area is the North Sea, followed by the very important Iceland and Faeroes area, then by the distant grounds of the Barents Sea, Norwegian coasts, Bear Island, and Spitzbergen. The major change of recent years has been the increased importance of northern waters, including Greenland. Before examining the characteristic fish found in each of these areas it will be necessary to analyse the different types of fish landed.
fishing grounds used by uk fishermen map

Fio. 132.—The main Fishing Grounds used by British fishermen Depths are shown lii metres (except the Dogger Bank)
1 Barents Sea and Murmars Coast.
2a Norwegian Coast.
2b Bear Island and Spitzbergen.
3 Skagerak, Belts and Baltic.
4 North Sea. 5a Iceland.
5b Faroc.
6a West of Scotland.
6b Rockall.
7a Irish Sea.
7b—c West of Ireland.
7d-e English Channel.
7f Bristol Channel.
7g—k South and South West of Ireland.
8a S. Brittany.
8b French Biscay.
8c Spanish Biscay.
8d Biscay Deepwater.
8e West of Biscay.
9a Coast of Portugal.
9b West of Portuguese Coast.
lOa Moroccan coast.
lob Madeira.
14 East Coast of Greenland.
15 West Coast of Greenland.
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herring fishing historic old

This table (missing) is at first very surprising, because it illustrates the fact that the fish which are most popular and best known on the British table or in British restaurants are actually landed in comparatively small quantities. This is partly because of the very large quantities of herring and cod and certain other fish which are absorbed by the export trade. Many of the fish with less familiar names are utilised by fried fish shops.

Returning now to the map of British fisheries we find that, taking the fish mentioned in the above table in order, they have certain characteristic features of distribution. The herring is characterist ically, one might say exclusively, a North Sea fish. With the except ion of the English Channel, southern Ireland, and the Bristol Chann el, landings from other areas are small. Of other pelagic fish the once important pilchard almost disappeared but has been coming back. It is and always has been essentially a fish of the south-west of England, of the western part of the English Channel, and of the south of Ireland. The mackerel is again a southern fish, particul arly important in the English Channel and the Bristol Channel. The sprat is another pelagic fish.

Turning to demersal fish, the cod is, of course, primarily a fish of cold northern waters. It accounts for about half the total landings of demersal fish, a large proportion from distant northern fisheries, and the quantity decreases as one comes southwards. The haddock is the predominant catch in the northern, deeper part of the North Sea. Halibut is still more a northern type, the really large catches being mainly restricted to Icelandic and other northern waters. Hake is unimportant in the North Sea but is the chief fish of the south-western area in the relatively deep trawling ground to the south of Ireland. Skate and sole are likewise the fish of the western side of England. Of the better-known flat-fish the plaice has the widest range. Landings from the far-distant Barents Sea area are important, but the popularity of the fish has given rise to anxiety because of the decrease in quantities which have been found in the northern sea. The plaice and still more the sole are really the reason for the operation of British vessels in the more distant fisheries. The lemon sole and the widely appreciated turbot have never formed large percentages of the total landings. It should be noted that the more distant fishing grounds of Greenland, the White Sea, Barents Sea, Bear Island, and Spitzbergen represent a round trip of more than 3,000 miles from Grimsby.

historic fish market Within the last half-century the British fishing industry has underg one a complete change. This may be summed up in the two words “centralisation” and “industrialisation.” It is a commonplace of history that the British fishing grounds form a nursery for the seamen of both our Navy and our Merchant Navy. Almost every cove on the rock-girt coast of the west has its little break-water, its little quota of fishing-vessels, and, nestling in the sheltered valley behind, a little fishing village. The same is true of the sandy estuaries and coves along the eastern coast. In the days of the Armada these fishing villages provided the bulk of the sailors for the British Navy. The little old town of Fowey in Cornwall is proud of having provided no less than 47 ships for Edward III’s navy for the siege of Calais, compared with London’s 25. Less than 5 per cent. of the fish no landed in the British Isles is landed at these small old fishing villages. Some of them, such as St. Ives, Mevagissey, or, to use its popular local name, “Fishygissy,” and Brixham, choosing examples from the south-western peninsula, have done their utmost to fight the uneven fight against the octopus of the large railway fishing port. Others have discovered that there is a market value in picturesquen ess and have come to rely for much of their revenue on their summer visitors. The fisherman hires out his boats for the summer months, while his wife provides board and lodging for the visitors. But unless the visitor’s own skill is above the average he probably and move with the buoy or ship under the influence of wind and tide. The net is arranged to intercept fish of the right size which attempt to pass through and are caught by the gills. Thus drift-nets are of different gauge according to the fish it is proposed to catch. Those for herring have an inch mesh, a smaller size are the drift-nets used for catching sprats, while drift-nets of a larger size are used elsew here for catching salmon. A few wooden drifters are still in existence, but the majority are of steel. Drifters are not large and for long the majority in Britain were about the same size, having a gross tonnage of 95 and a length of 85 feet, and a beam of l8 feet, carrying a crew of seven men and a boy.
finds that his stay at the seaside is marred by an absence of “fresh fish on the table.” It is the advent of the steam trawler and the steam drifter which is in the main responsible for the great change.
The majority of the herrings and other pelagic fish are caught from the drifters and the majority of demersal or white fish from the trawlers. The drift-net carried by the drifters is lightly and strongly made of cotton, and each net measures from 50 to 60 yards long and about 13 yards deep, but the nets are used in a “fleet” or series, so that sometimes as many as eighty are employed at one time in one vessel, to form an extended wall of netting hanging perpendicularly in the water. There is a headline kept floating on the surface by a series of buoys or “pellets,” and the top of the net is usually about three yards below the surface, being connected with the headline by a series of ropes called strops. The net or nets are attached to the floating buoy or to the drifting ship itself, hence the name “drifter,”
1950s fishing trawler

The most important method of fishing demersal fish is by trawling. In 1951 87 per cent. of all fish landed in the United Kingdom by British fishing vessels was caught by trawlers. The trawl-net is a bag-shaped net, the mouth of which is kept open either by a beam across the head or by pressure of the water upon wooden kites known as trawl-boards, or trawl doors, attached to the net. The beam-trawl is still used but only on fishing smacks and small vessels. The ordinary modern trawl-net is towed about 200 yards astern; the trawl runs along the sea bed where the fish feed. Wooden or metal “bobbins” are attached to the lower part of the mouth and act as wheels, enabling the trawl to be pulled more readily and with less damage over rock etc.


The trawl is drawn in by winches about every two hours. The fish poured out on the deck are immediately sorted, cleaned, and packed in the ship’s fish-rooms. There they are laid out, as far as possible, on ice-lined shelves so that no weight presses on them. The steam trawlers built in Britain after the First World War tended to conform closely to three types:the large “Mersey” type, the medium-sized “Castle” type, and the smaller “Strath” type.

It is now usual to divide Britain’s trawlers into two fleets—the near-water fleet and the distant-water fleet—and the vessels are classified by length. Distant-water vessels are in many cases 200 feet in length, driven by steam engines using oil fuel and with a crew of about 20. They are fitted with modern aids to navigation
—radar, echo-sounders, and wireless. In the near-water fleet, especially that operating in the North Sea, the smaller vessel driven by diesel engines is gaining in popularity, and North Sea trawlers are usually fitted with Decca navigators.

The annexed table shows the distribution of trawlers by size and illustrates the concentration of the large distant-water fleet on Hull and Grimsby. Some of the fishing grounds are 1,500 miles away, and an average voyage is about three weeks, compared with eight or nine days for the near-water fleet. The introduction of quick- freezing or deep-freezing may lengthen the voyages. Another modern feature is the elimination of waste—some trawlers are being developed as “factories” making cod liver oil and fish meal at sea.
There are a few subsidiary but still important methods for fishing employed in the British fisheries. One is fishing by line—a line of baited hooks. This is mainly used by Scottish fishermen in the northern part of the North Sea. The other method is that of the Danish
Seine net. Fishing by this net was perfected by the Danes during the First World War and its adoption to any considerable extent in England only dates from 1921. It was the direct result of Danish boats putting into British ports and British fishermen having evidence placed before them of the efficiency of a new method. The trawler actually drags the net along the bottom, but in this method of fishing the vessel remains stationary whilst the bag- shaped net is at the centre of a very long haulage line and is gradually hauled in by a motor-engine on the vessel, there being an arrangem ent of ropes in front of the net in such a way that they rather disturb the fish lying in the path of the net and cause them to move in such a way as to get caught. It has grown greatly in importance in Scotland. Lining is mainly used for large fish, particularly cod and halibut, and the baits used vary according to the season— mussels, whelks, small herring, etc.
The table given on the following page shows the quantities of fish caught by each of the principal methods and landed at British ports.
Although the trawl-net has been in use in British fisheries for something like 250 years, until 1870 it was in the form of the beam- trawl and was operated exclusively by sailing-vessels. The sailing- vessels could not be absent more than a few days from port; they were largely dependent upon weather conditions; the radius within which they could fish was distinctly limited.

trawler ports in the UK Of necessity they landed their fish at the nearest available port, probably their home- port. Steam-power was first introduced in the form of tugs, which assisted these fishing-vessels, but the gradual evolution of the steam trawler followed. It is interesting to notice that these trawlers are built at special shipbuilding yards, not as a rule at the ordinary shipb uilding centres. A very large number are either built or assembled at ports surrounding the Humber, such as Beverley, Goole, and Selby.

The next map (Fig. 136) will show at a glance the principal fishing ports of Great Britain. Against each of the ports there have been shown the landings for 1951. It will be seen how from the modern industry there have disappeared once important fishing ports such as Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides and Lerwick in Shetland. The industry is now concentrated on five of the ports on the east coast of Britain and one, Fleetwood, on the west coast. Not only is there a concentration of the British fishing industry at certain leading ports, but there is a distinct specialisation at each of

the ports. Those that have the largest landings of pelagic fish, i.e. mainly herring, often show a comparatively small importance in relation to demersal fish and vice versa. The reason for this will be apparent if we make a brief study of the herring industry. An outs tanding feature of the herring industry is the large proportion of the catch which is destined for export. Before the First World War as much as 75 per cent, of the total catch was actually exported, mainly to the Baltic Countries and Russia. Even now a considerable proportion of the herrings is exported. Of the remainder, a comp aratively small proportion is destined for consumption in this country as fresh herrings, more being destined for home consumption as bloaters and kippers. Thus, in the case of herrings, when they are landed there is not usually the need for rapid distribution to consuming centres that there is in the case of demersal fish. Instead, there must be provision for the salting-of the herrings in barrels, and often the manufacture of the barrels themselves takes place, as at Yarmouth, near the actual landingpIac of the fish. Bloaters are herrings which have been lightly smoked; kippers are herrings which have been cut open and gutted and smoked, usually with the help of a wood-fire. The lightly smoked bloaters do not keep so long as the kippers, but at the same time there is not the need for haste in their distribution to markets and consuming centres. Turning to the list of the great herring ports of Scotland we find, in order, Frazerburgh and Peterhead, to the north of Aberdeen, not nearly so conveniently situated relative to rail transport as Aberdeen itself. Then there is Wick in Caithuess, too far to the

fish landing 1913 to 1951 fishing landing map UK

north of the country to be suitably situated for the landing of demersal fish. Of the three herring ports on islands, Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides, Stromness in Orkney, and Lerwick in Shetland have practically no trade in demersal fish for British markets. In England, Yarmouth is pre-eminently the herring port, with Lowestoft a good second, landings at other ports being comparatively small. The second interesting feature about the herring industry is its seasonal character. The fishing starts about June in the north and terminates about October or November in the south at Yarm outh. It is a mistake to think that the fish themselves migrate southwards. The herring fishing in Devon and Cornwall is still later, though not an important amount, being in December. It would seem that the time of spawning of the herring is determined by the physical conditions of the water, and takes place much earlier in the north than in the south, so that the herring are ready for catching earlier in the north than in the south. Although the herring themselves do not migrate southwards, the fishing boats to a very large extent do, and so also do the Scottish fisher-girls who are engaged in cleaning the fish and packing them in barrels or preparing them for kippers and bloaters when they are landed.

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During the season in the heyday of the industry as many as a thousand boats might have been out from Yarmouth and a day’s catch 4,000 tons, or three-quarters of a herring for every man woman, and child in the British Isles, although present-day landings are much smaller. Although nutritively far more valuable than equal quantities of white fish, the herring, probably because of its commonness and cheapness, is not fully appreciated in this country. It is not, indeed, appreciated nearly as much as it should be.
After being cleaned the herrings for export are packed in barrels in alternating layers of salt and fish. Some of the brine is drained off before the barrels are sealed for export. The herrings go especially to Catholic countries, but the former huge trade to Baltic ports is almost a thing of the past.
Turning now to demersal fish, the overwhelming importance of the Humber ports Hull and Grimsby in England, paralleled to some extent by Fleetwood on the west coast, and Aberdeen in Scotland, is at once apparent. There is an important trade in the buying and salting of cod for export, particularly to southern Europe and other Roman Catholic countries, but the bulk of the remainder of the demersal fish is destined for home consumption. Whilst it keeps comparatively well with the help of salt at the even temperature in the holds of the vessels from which it has been caught, as soon as the fish is landed deterioration is rapid. Though processes of freezing fish have now been perfected, they are expensive and if possible must, therefore, be avoided. Further, freezing, although it does not destroy the nutritive value of the fish sometimes tends to destroy the flavour.

Thus there is evidence at once of the necessity An important service to fishermen is the daily broadcast by the B.B.C. of weather forecasts for each area sbow,s on this map. The figures indicate the average annual number of days with gale in each area of very rapid handling as soon as the fish can be landed, hence the very specialised type of water-side accommodation, railway sidings by the wharf, special fish expresses running during the night and reaching the great markets, such as London, in the early hours of the morning. The great fishing ports are, in other words, the creation of the railways. An excellent example of what facilities and handling and transport mean to the fish trade is afforded by Fleet- wood. A few decades ago Fleetwood had a small passenger traffic to Ireland. The London, Midland, and Scottish Railway quite of fish.
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The result is seen at once in the figures: in 1913 Fleetwood handled 745,632 cwt. of fish; in 1935 it handled 1,230,000 cwt. Now Fleetwood may be said to attract fishing vessels from right away to the south of Ireland, and as far as lonely Rockall to the west of Scotland, merely because of the facilities which have been provided for rapid handling. It has not, however, stood up against the competition of Hull and Grimsby. The specialised organisation of some of the fish-markets, including that of Billingsgate, will be noticed later. It should be mentioned that fishing for demersal fish is not seasonal in character like that for herrings, but takes place throughout the year.

The bulk of the exports is represented by herring and cod, a very large proportion of the imports by canned salmon and sardines. Provision for fishery research is made by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for England and Wales, and by the Fishery Board for Scotland. No historian needs to be reminded of the consequences of the medieval migration of the herrings when they left the Baltic Sea, and this should be a reminder that the habits and peculiarities of fish should be watched and understood. Despite the fact that fish are extraordinarily prolific creatures the fishing year after year must of necessity tend to deplete the fisheries. That this has happened and is happening is quite evident from the figures of North Sea catches. It is evident in another way. During the two world wars the North Sea fisheries had a considerable, almost a complete, rest, and when fishing recommenced in 1919 and 1946 the hauls were remarkable for their size but in the next two or three years rapidly dropped again. This shows the effect of resting a fishery. Much can be done, too, by hatching out spawn and then distributing the young fish in suitable places on the sea bottom.

Much hatching of spawn, of course, is now carried out in the salmon fisheries of North America. A peculiar position arises with regard to soles and plaice in the North Sea, which spawn in the southern part of the North Sea, and possibly owing to drifting currents the young fish find their way north-eastwards towards the coast of Denmark. It would seem that they are unable, owing to interv ening deeper water, to reach the more suitable feeding grounds which are on the Dogger Bank. If these spawn or young fish can be taken and transported and dropped on the Dogger Bank it is found that they grow with most amazing rapidity. This is quoted as one example of what may be done towards the maint enance or development of British fisheries. Amongst the instit utions for studying these problems may be mentioned the Marine Biological Station at Plymouth and the Fisheries Laboratory at Lowestoft.

Shell-Fish.—It remains now to deal with what are usually called shell-fish despite the fact that they are biologically unconnected with fish at all. Shell-fish used for human consumption belong biol ogically to two main groups—the mollusca (including both bivalves and univalves, or gastropods) and crustacea. The bivalve molluscs include the important oyster and the very common though little-used mussel and cockle and the large scallop. Round the coasts of Britain are many molluscs either closely allied or identical with those designated clams in America, but they are rarely used for food. The chief gastropods are the whelk and winkle. The crustaceans include lobsters, crabs, prawns, and shrimps, with small quantities of crawfish.

The value of shell-fish on an average in the inter-war years was about £500,000. Although there were difficulties, especially of labour and restrictions on access in such areas as the Thames mouth, value was maintained at roughly this figure through the war. In value four items tie for first place—oysters, lobsters, crabs, and shrimps.
In pre-1939 days oysters
(Ostrea edulis) were easily the most valuable shell-fish and in the early part of the present century production in Britain was probably nearly 50,000,000 a year—many times the figure for recent years. The great oyster beds for which this country has long been famous are concentrated on either side of the mouth of the Thames__particularly on the mud flats off Whitstable, Kent, and on similar mud flats in the neighbourhood of Colchester, Essex. The summer is the spawning season and so a “close-season” when fishing is prohibited. Actually the oysters at that season are not, in any case, at their best for eating, hence the old rule that oysters should only be eaten when there is an “r” in the month—that is from September to April. The opening of the fishing season is usually celebrated by some picturesque ceremony as when the mayor of Whitstable eats the first “native.” After benefiting from a war-time rest, the Whitstable beds suffered severely in the winter of 1946—47 when the shallow sea froze. Formerly the estuary of the Fal had important oyster beds: of recent years the oysters of the Helford River, also in Cornwall, have achieved considerable popularity.
(Mytilus edulis) occur widely round the coasts, adhering to rocks and submerged objects, but are only consumed in small quantities—by gourmets as a constituent in fish sauces and by those who still appreciate the little plates of shell-fish sold from harrows which were once a major feature in the poorer districts of London. Cockles (Cardium edule) from sandy shores, the large whelks (Buccinum undatum), and small periwinkles or winkles (Littorina littorea) to be extracted from their shells with a large pin were also a feature of the itinerant barrow. The large scallop, or escallop (Pecten opercularis), is taken from depths of 5—20 fathoms on a sea-floor of shell fragments as in the Irish Sea, off Weymouth, or in the Firth of Forth. Oysters are rarely cooked in Britain, all the others are normally cooked before eating.

Of the crustaceans which are caught for human consumption, shrimps (Crangon vulgaris) favour shallow water over a sandy bottom and are caught in large numbers in the Wash and Morecambe Bay. It used to be a common sight to see men wading in the shallow waters, walking parallel to the shore and pushing a large shrimping net before them. The large prawn (Leander serratus) is more local and favours rocky shores where it hides in rock crevices. The aristocratic lobster (Homarus gammarus) has long been a highly esteemed delicacy and gives rise to important fisheries. It lives in shallow water but where there are numerous submerged rocks in the joints of which it finds shelter and is caught by lowering lobster “pots “—wicker baskets weighted with a stone and bated with pieces of stale fish. The aperture is so arranged at the top that the lobster gets in but cannot find the way out. The Channel Islands, the rocky coasts of the south-west in Devon and Cornwall, the Orkneys and Stornoway in the Hebrides are all famous for lobsters. Indeed, in the south-west, many of the small fishing villages rely now almost entirely on their lobster fisheries (apart from summer visitors), the regular fishing having moved to larger ports. The Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) is smaller and has long, slender claws. It lives in deeper water and is hence caught, incid entally, by trawlers. The sea-crawfish, or rock lobster (Palinurus vulgaris), has no pincers but long thick antennae and a spiny shell. It is found on the northern coasts.

Crabs (Cancer pagurus) are somewhat localised in their distribut ion and come especially from the North Sea—with landings at Flamborough and Scarborough long well known.