(Metanephrops mozambicus)

Mozambican prawn, African lobster

1. What is it?

Langoustine (Metanephrops mozambicus) are short-lived fast-growing species with low vulnerability to fishing pressure. They are typically found on soft, muddy grounds in depth ranging from 200-750m where it needs to be rigged out. No stock assessment has been conducted for this region; therefore stock status is currently unknown.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Langoustine are caught by demersal otter trawls, as bycatch of multi-species fisheries targeting other deep-sea shrimp. Bycatch is only regulated as a percentage of the main target species, but the basis for this is unknown. Negative impact on Endangered Threatened and Protected (ETP) species, including turtles, sawfish and vulnerable elasmobranchs are likely in this fishery. Discard rates are assumed to be high. Impacts on benthic habitat and substantial ecosystem changes caused by bottom trawling are likely.

3. Where is it from?

Langoustine are caught in the Mozambique EEZ (FAO 51) and imported into South Africa. Langoustines are currently managed under Fisheries Laws defined by the Fisheries Administration Commission. Management effectiveness was hard to assess due to the limited availability of information however, based on the limited data available, the biggest issues appeared to be with unwanted bycatch, discards and threat to ETP species. Overall, management is considered to be partly effective. Whilst Ecosystem-Based Management is acknowledged by Mozambique, it is not currently at the stage of implementation.