Shellfish and other invertebrates

The marine environment is home to a wide variety of invertebrates, many of which have no (e.g.Echinoderms – sea urchins, starfish, etc.) or few representatives in freshwater (e.g. Cnidarians – anemones and corals). A very small percentage of the invertebrate fauna are of commercial value, including Crustacea – e.g. crabs, lobster and Nephrops (aka langoustine or scampi or prawns) and Molluscs – e.g. oysters, scallops and razor fish. The Commercial shellfish assessment covers the three species of greatest economic importance – Nephrops, scallops and brown crabs – which together make up 90% of the total value of Scottish shellfish landings – as well as queen scallops, razor fish, squid, and whelks. The Nephrops assessment is based on annual ICES surveys, for the other species the results are from triennial assessments carried out by Marine Scotland. The Case study: Native oysters highlights the consequences of historical mismanagement and over-exploitation of wild stocks, but also illustrates that with sufficient ambition and resolve there is the potential to reverse such declines.