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Discussion in 'Lovely Grub' started by WoodWhite, Sep 24, 2008.
Did anyone get a licence after all?
Ive got the form and plan to fill it in when I'm back in England, I will make myself a crayfish trap seeing as there very expensive.
Cheers, I think Ill do them this week. As to the trap I was thinking of buying a cheepy, but then I reread all the specs to make them otter proof etc, then realising that DEFRA will send you a tag for your trap that can be traced back to you I figured I would just put my hand in my pocket for £15 and avoid standing in the dock!
I'd like to point out that there are a special series of bylaws which the EA brought in specific to Crayfish. Also there are quite a few good ecological reasons for not trapping them, i posted a few of these the other day elsewhere (if your interested please just search crawfish). Im not going to post it all again here, but will if its of interest? (problems with spreading plague, non natives and tat trapping doesn't help reduce invasives)
Im glad to see that someone above mentioned the otter guards, also water voles are at risk with ALL crayfish traps (the water vole freeing ones don't work).
Also the EA will not usually grant licences for the purposes of foraging/food collection.
This doesnt seem to be the response the member who spoke to someone from the EA above which is a bit concerning, also i would be massively interested if anyone does manage to get a licence.
Im not being a klljoy, and was very tempted myself, it seems like a no loose situation but the truth if you look into it is actually not so simple (aint it always so).
Having said that you may have a better chance if you have isolated locations with known Signal populations, and are very hot on with your disinfecting regime.
Would love to know if anyone gets one, my involvement with EA suggests that it should be a point blank refusal. perhaps get the license before investing in traps? I do know of some cheap ones that work well - i dot use them for food and am always operating under licences but if people can get licences i dont mind giving more info.
Hope this doesnt sound preachy...?
I'm about to apply for a licence. Judging by what I've come across on the net recently, EA will always grant a licence unless there is a compelling reason not to. This might include local populations of white clawed crayfish, protected areas, conflict with other users or a likelyhood of regulations and bye laws not being adhered to. It actually seems to be less complicated to get a licence if it is for personal food collection. If it is as part of a population control exercise, commercial food collection or crayfish farming, you need to jump through a few more hoops. Around our area (MK postcode), there isn't even a requirement for a licence to keep signal crayfish (presumablyy, because the area is overrun with them.
From an ecological point of view, as long as you make sure you have otter friendly traps, place them in deeper water to avoid voles, are not tempted to throw unuseable (for food) crayfish back in, which is illegal anyway (while making sure you return anything that's not a signal crayfish) and you check your traps regularly, the impact should be minimal at worst and helpful at best.
Yep, that's the message I'm getting too. I spoke to them (EA) again yesterday - they're so helpful - to check whether I needed to apply for the DEFRA licence to transport crayfish (home). They said "it will be a lot less grief for you if you just dispatch at the waters edge - then you don't need one and you won't have to bother DEFRA!" Surprised me a bit!
Since you're supposed to leave them in clean water for a day or two to clean them out, as well as not necessarily wanting to eat them on the same day, I might go for the DEFRA licence as well. It seems that as long as you explain that you're keeping them in a sealed container and considering that we don't have a licence requirement here to keep them, it shouldn't be too difficult.
Gentlemen I'm impressed
I don't fish, but I watch this type of thread come up every so often, and you have pulled up so much relevant information.
When you have sorted out the licences, would one of you pm me and let me know how things went, and I'll see about somehow or other making this thread a sticky so that it comes up when Crayfish are mentioned ?
Might shift it into Fair Game.........
No probs - I've had all the relevant information and blanks of the forms emailed to me - do you want them?
Would still be interested in seeing if anyone gets a licence, people here seem to be getting different information than me. I work with the EA and the information i get is a definitive and clear position - but am always willing to learn. I do wonder if the people that are being spoken to are the same ones that assess licenses (as is often the case with natural england). Please keep this post informed with the outcomes.
In response to AJB re dispatching at the waters edge im not suprised with the view that to kill them there is best - less paperwork all around and little chance of any of the nippers going awry.
I don't get it. People are advocating killing them on sight, yet you need a licence to catch them??? Strange, surely. Or is it to protect what might be the native species?
Right i have an update, and it appears that i was at least partially incorrect.
below is the response i got from them which appears to be rather pragmatic, which makes a nice change!
Im slightly perturbed that the EA reckon they know where there are not white claws - since a systematic survey has not been done and their data is based on routing events and ad hock monitoring but thats not really what we were talking about here!
I would still say to disinfect kit etc, and remember the traps are not usually UK legal when bought they have to be ammended slightly. Someone here said the traps are expensive, some of the best ones are about £7 i think. So if people have a licence im happy to point them in the right direction.
So hope this is helpfull!
Thank you for your e-mail regarding Crayfish trapping.
The trapping of crayfish is only allowed depending on a number of factors; including location and reason for trapping.
Trapping in the North of England & Wales
The use of traps to catch crayfish in the North of England & Wales (unless for scientific research, conservation, or fishery management) will normally be refused for the following reasons:
Increased risk of spreading crayfish plague and other fish diseases
The risk of capture and or harming native crayfish
Small scale trapping of Signal crayfish has been shown to increase rather than decrease their population size*
*Scientific evidence shows large males are preferentially attracted to traps, while females and small males are trap-shy. As large male signal crayfish cannibalise juveniles they have the effect of keeping total population numbers down. In areas where trapping has occurred, the removing of these large males has resulted in a dramatic increase of overall signal numbers in the years after trapping.
Trapping in the South of England
The use of traps in southern England to catch crayfish for personal consumption or as a business enterprise is likely to be approved. However, we would usually not approve the trapping of non-native crayfish in areas where there is a high risk of the native white-clawed crayfish getting caught. This is currently the case in the south west of England, especially Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.
Whilst the trapping of crayfish in the South of England is likely to be approved, our preference is for members of the public to use a rod and line because:
Traps can impact on non-target species, such as water voles, otters, amphibians
Rod licence revenue is invested into improving angling and fisheries management
A licence is required for the trapping of crayfish. We assess every application individually, there is no charge for a licence and they can last from several days to one year (depending on the the purpose of the trapping, whether for personal consumption or business enterprise).
I've read the pdf's that came through and have a trap which I bought last year sometime. I was hoping to do some this year, but never got around to calling the EA as you have done.
However reading between the lines, if someone could could up with a trap-ish design which attached to a rod, was anchored by a ledger, the comment above seems to imply there would little they could do about licensing it? Or am I reading it incorrectly?
I'm purely thinking about the foraging aspect rather than and commercial operation.
I would say the definition of trap would be fairly clear something which traps the animal - it would still be a trap even if still attached to a pole.
It would just be a trap attached to a pole..
I don't pretend to be an expert but it seems that licenses may be available in lots of places and if you can get one i would do that. If you cant there are probably good reasons for not. I know its a bit simplistic but thats me for ya....
I got my crayfish license through today, just over a week after applying.
I sent in an FR2 form to the EA stating that I wanted to use a single dropnet to catch signal crayfish for personal consumption, and received the license and a tag to attach to the dropnet. I specified the waters as the stretch of the Thames that runs through my town, to which I have fishing rights as a town resident, and arbitrarily specified the date of the operation as running from now until the end of March.
Regarding whether or not a dropnet is a trap, the title of the application form gives a clue (application to use fishing instruments other than a rod or line).
So certainly here in Oxfordshire, permission can be granted for small scale catching for personal consumption.
Hope this is of use.
congratulations Geoff on getting your licence.
I will pm you details where i have seen quite a few crayfish whilst out kayaking.
Congratulations on puting words into action! I'd love to learn how they taste. Please keep us all updated. I'd certainly like to see photos of your kit.
Very sweet and succulent, cooked simply, boiled or skewered and cooked round an open fire delicous...
Glad to hear people are getting licences!
A word of advise - forget the flatbotom traps they are rubbish - go for the Cylindrical Crayfish Trap they are the best -
What makes them better?