Quantification of the indirect effects of scallop dredge fisheries on a brown crab fishery

Fikret Öndes*, Michel J. Kaiser, Lee G. Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to describe the characteristics of the by-catch of Cancer pagurus in king scallop dredges in the Isle of Man, and to determine the damage, immediate mortality and estimated mortality during fishing seasons associated with scallop dredges. Based on dredge surveys, spatial and seasonal variations were observed, with the highest number of crabs found off the west coast of the Isle of Man in the autumn when berried females crabs were most frequently caught. In general, female crabs comprised 84% of the catch. The damage levels of crabs was high with 45% of crabs recorded as crushed or dead or with severe damage, whilst 24% of crabs exhibited missing limbs. Estimates of the potential mortality associated with scallop dredging led to a lower and upper estimate of possible crab by-catch mortality of 15t and 24t respectively which represented 3.0-4.8% of the commercial landings of brown crab for the Isle of Man. Heaviest mortalities of crabs occurred in autumn to the west of the Isle of Man when female berried crabs move offshore into deeper water. The use of a temporary and spatially restricted scallop dredging closure could provide a simple solution to mitigate additional crab mortality in the event that scallop dredging increased beyond current levels in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Early online date24 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Brown crab
  • By-catch
  • Damage
  • Dredging
  • Environmental impact
  • Fishery management
  • Isle of Man
  • Limb loss
  • Mortality estimations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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