American Lobster

If you catch an American Lobster




American lobsters are invasive non-native species, and a high risk/alert species for Scotland and the UK. A Retain and Report campaign was launched in 2020 to raise awareness about the risks they pose (see attached poster and leaflet for more information). It is very difficult to identify American lobsters by appearance alone, even more so when they may be hybrid animals i.e. European lobster crossed with American lobsters.

If you see any lobsters that you think may  be American lobsters, please Retain and Report these animals.  The reporting options are, in order of preference;

  • high quality photographs;
  • a flesh sample using a testing kit from MSS used by Fishery Officers;
  • the entire animal to be sent to MSS for scientific analysis, via your local Fishery Office.

Having  good sample for analysis is hugely valuable to help with our scientific understanding of whether this species is present, breeding or creating viable offspring in Scottish waters.  If it is possible for the entire animal to be provided (live) to Fishery Officers, it would give MSS the most detailed information for analysis.  There is also significant benefits to the creel sector in removing ecological threats to the fishery in this way.

Report to your local Marine Scotland Compliance Fishery Office or the
UK Fisheries Monitoring Centre on 0131 271 9700 (operational 24/7) or email


Our Aim

The Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups (RIFGs) aim to improve the management of inshore fisheries in the 0-12 nautical mile zone of Scottish waters, and to give commercial inshore fishermen a strong voice in wider marine management developments.

Scottish Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups