Live Lobsters Prove A Hit At IFCA Open Day

IFCA open day Dec 2014Monday’s IFCA Open Day at the Wesleyan Chapel proved a big hit with islanders wanting to get “up close and personal” with a lobster.

IFCA Officer Doug Holt said their new ‘touch tank’ containing a live lobster was popular and allowed people to see the crustaceans in a more natural setting, rather than “on the plate.”

The organisation also showed off some of their high tech equipment, such as the underwater side-scan sonar, which allows a picture of the seabed to be created.

Doug says they’re hoping to organise a similar event on St Mary’s in the summer, and to take the touch tank to the off-island fetes.

Attendees at the open day also heard how the IFCA team have been tagging crustaceans to monitor the populations.

They want to get enough data to demonstrate the sustainability of our fisheries, which could have big benefits for the local economy.

Doug says they’ve been offering prizes to hobby and commercial fishermen who collect tags from lobsters and crayfish that they land.

Kit Legg won first prize this year – a four-course meal at Star Castle Hotel – while Rich Jenkins won Seasalt clothing and Nick Jenkins received Scillonian III tickets.

Doug says commercial fishermen benefit by receiving £2 for every tag they collect, and the IFCA also pays to charter their boats, so volunteers can tag the shellfish that are too small and are thrown back.

Doug says this helps inject some money back into the local economy.