Dutch officials will increase checks this month in an effort to catch lobster poachers in the Scheldt River estuary in the country’s southwest.
The Netherlands’ Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority will step up surveillance of the Eastern Scheldt estuary and the saltwater lakes Grevelingen and Veerse Meer, it said in a statement on its website today. The Economy Ministry and national police also will help, the authority said.
Lobster catching is banned from mid-July until March 31 to maintain population levels, and any of the crustaceans caught in that period must be freed right away, according to the food authority. A check on the Eastern Scheldt last year found 157 illegally caught lobsters, some of which carried eggs, and the poachers were booked, it said.
“For egg-carrying lobsters, the rule is that throughout the year they must be released immediately,” the authority said. “This is due to lobsters’ lengthy reproductive cycle.”
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