Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus)
Norway lobster is found throughout the Atlantic waters of the EU, from the Azores to the North Sea. It is not commonly found in the Mediterranean, though it is fished in the Adriatic.
It lives on muddy sea beds in burrows at depths that range from a few metres down to 500 m or more. Norway lobster can live up to 12 years in the case of males, 30 in the case of females, and can reach more than 25 cm in length (measured by the carapace), though most adults are typically between 10 and 20 cm long. They reach sexual maturity at between two and three years of age.
Commercially important stocks of Norway lobster in EU waters include those in
- The Irish Sea
- The North Sea
- Bay of Biscay, and
- Atlantic-Iberian coast
The most common method of catching Norway lobster is by trawling. Since they are protected from trawling while in their burrows, they are generally caught when they emerge to feed, which usually happens twice a day, often at dawn and dusk. They are commonly taken in mixed fisheries, and the southern stock is closely associated with the fishery for southern hake.
Most Norway lobster stocks units seem to be stable although some are experiencing decline.
The long-term plan for Southern hake also covers Norway lobster.