The Shrimping Page

NEWS:


Field magazine for August 2012 has got a feature on Lobsters and one on beach Shrimping on Lancing Beach as well. Available in the larger branches of WH Smith on the shelf from the end of July 2012. Recommended light reading. £4.20.
 

Shrimping Nets

15 June 2006
The River Walks TV company with Charlie Dimmick filmed on Lancing beach (at the Shoreham end near Widewater), referred to as Shoreham-by-Sea, featured shrimping with Peter Talbot-Elsden (British Marine Life Study Society).

Filming was in the early morning at low tide under overcast conditions. 

The documentary focuses on the River Adur and was broadcasted on 22 February 2007.

River Walks 

Series that sees Charlie Dimmock walk the waterways of Southern England. In the last of the series West Sussex is her destination. The country around the River Adur offers up its secrets, including the secret film-making tradition of Shoreham to Charlie. On her walk from the sea to the South Downs she visits the birthplace of Sussex aviation and tries her hand at shrimping.


Is it a Prawn or a Shrimp?
 

Alas, there is no absolutely correct answer. In common usage the names are interchangeable, and there are lots of prawn-like or shrimp-like animals to confuse the novice rockpooler. Marine biologists will use the scientific names.

However, the casual rockpooler wanting to put a name to what he finds can follow the terms used for British species only:

The Prawn is transparent with long legs and is found amongst the weed in rock pools on the shore. There are several different species. In the south and west the species in the pools are called by the scientific name of Palaemon.

The Shrimp is the sandy coloured crustacean that lives in the sandy shallows. It has short legs and buries itself in the sand. It is called by the scientific name of Crangon and is found all around the British coast.
 
 

 

Brown Shrimp, with discarded exoskeleton



Sand Soles from Shoreham

I think the species identified as Solenette (Slipper Sole), Buglossidium luteum, on these web page are really Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris



 
 
 
 
 

 
1)  Shoreham

2)  Westward Ho!

  1)  Shoreham

2)  Westward Ho!

Sole Comparisons


7 June 2016
As bad shrimping as I had ever known of Widewater (east) with just two Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon,  and a one Vernal Crab, Liocarcinus vernalis, but what made it worst was the leaky waders (old waders by mistake) in the right boot side. Waders came off easily though (that's because they were the old leaky ones!). Arthritis impeded cycling on the Pashley more than pushing the larger shrimp net. I arrived an hour before low tide (0.5 metres) and it might have been better if I had left it later. (Shrimp net does not fit on the newer delivery bicycle very well with the green plastic basket: it needs reorganising). (New smaller shrimp net is in need of an awkward repair.)

9 June 2015
On a low spring tide of 1.1 metres in the late afternoon in clear water and there was ony one juvenile Brown Shrimp and nothing of interest a except five tiny Plaice fry. Extraordinarily the Brown Shrimp was short and squat, broader than its usual length, although a small one. (I used the new small shrimp net fro Lagoon Bait & Tackle, but it needed repairs after the first trip out. It is easier to fold and unfold than my remaining large net, which also needs alterations after its breakage last year.)

22 September 2014
With my larger mahogany shrimp net now repaired, this was its first outing on what would not normally not be a favourable time for shrimping. I chose Shoreham Beach (opposite Shoreham Beach Green) on a low spring tide of 1.1 metres in the late afternoon (5.00 pm) without too much optimism or enthusiasm as the sky became cloudy. 
 

 
 
Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris
 Lesser Weever

I caught about twenty Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, large enough not to fall through the net in half an hour, plus six small to large Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, one Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, three small South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator, one Pennant's Swimming Crab, Portumnus latipes, and no other fish fry. One of the Sand Soles was estimated at 11 cm long and got itself caught twice after I returned the fish the first time. This was so large I thought it could be a Dover Sole, Solea solea,  and this is near its maximum size. 

4 June 2014
A single Peregrine Falcon perched on a ledge on the Shoreham Harbour Power Station chimney on a ledge where the nest box used to be. 
It was a low neap tide and just about suitable for a brief morning spell of shrimping (using Peter Talbot-Elsden's second smaller shrimp net) in the light rain at Southwick Beach. There were hundreds of Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, including at least half of very small ones that were probably hatched this year, about a dozen Pennant's Swimming Crabs (the little speckled ones) Portumnus latipes, two South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator,  two very small Lesser Weevers, Echiichthys vipera, an almost white Shore Crab Carcinus meanas, and a small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, and dozen small flatfish fry.

22 May 2014
Another shrimping expedition went completely wrong: my larger mahogany shrimp net broke almost immediately. It was a major break and will not be fixed without some craft woodwork. 

21 May 2014
A shrimping expedition went completely wrong: my ancient net broke almost immediately. "The shrimp net was ancient, used to belong to Charlie Woolgar, mussel, sandhopper and shrimp collector for Regents Park London Zoo Aquarium. When Chas retired the late John Barker took over the role and most of his kit. Charlie Woolgar used to live in West Street, Shoreham. I remember had a brass lobster for a door knocker. He has been dead for decades." (Steve Barker). It was a major break and will not be fixed without some craft woodwork. 
 

16 May 2014
 

Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris
South-clawed Hermit Crab, Diogenes pugilator
Pennant's Swimming Crab, Portumnus latipes.

A great day with friends from Coastwise North Devon at Westward Ho! Here are my finds from using a push net at the edge of the sea: Brown Shrimp, Crangon crangon, the most obvious, five Pennant's Swimming Crabs (the little speckled ones) Portumnus latipes, two South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator,  a small Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, (the black colour on the venomous spines was clear), and a little Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris. The Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, was a particularly interesting discovery as this is a southern species and it is not often recorded in British seas. I do not know if this a rare fish in British seas or just rarely recorded? 


29 May 2013
An overcast morning was a least dry and with little or no wind, it was the first opportunity of a shrimping expedition with the small one metre wide net to Lancing Beach by Widewater on the low (0.2 metres) incoming tide from 9:11 am. There was disappointingly little caught apart from a pint of Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, one small Common Hermit Crab, Pagurus bernhardus,  and one South-clawed Hermit Crab, Diogenes pugilator, a few tiny flatfish, but no larger flatfish or sand crabs for Adur World Oceans Day 2013A small Shore Crab Carcinus meanas and one prawn Palaemon serratus, were incidentals together with a dozen Slipper Limpet, Crepidula fornicata, clusters and a clump of Squid eggs

2 May 2013
A push-net shrimping expedition off Southwick Beach, caught a meal of Brown Shrimp, Crangon crangon, plus some large venomous Lesser Weevers, Echiichthys vipera, as well as a few Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris and 5-Bearded Rocklings, Ciliata mustela


 

28 May 2012
A special shrimping trip to Lancing Beach (by Widewater) (with Selena Barr and Philippa Lane from Field magazine, and Peter Talbot-Elsden) in ideal weather conditions (1.5 metre neap low tide) caught three pints of Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, between us. There was not much else in the nets: frequent flatfish fry, two small Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, one swimming crab Portumnus latipes with "fleur-de lis" markings, one Vernal Crab, Liocarcinus vernalis, one badly damaged (but still alive, it nipped me) Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus, a few large green Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas, and a small Plaice, Pleuronectes platessa, (or possibly a Flounder?). 

2 June 2011
After the amount of weed washed up on the shore after the sustained period of over a week of Force 5 Breezes, it was not promising for shrimping off Lancing Beach by Widewater with the sand just showing on 1.5 metres low tide in the early evening.  My fears were well founded, there was too much weed to make shrimping practical, with under ten Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, in just over half an hour push-netting. One very young Greater Pipefish Syngnathus acus, fry that came with the weed and quickly wriggled to escape through the mesh of my smaller metre-wide shrimp net. It was the first capture, followed by two South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator, in Netted Dogwhelk shells, one small Vernal Crab, Liocarcinus vernalis, just one small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, and two small flatfish fry. Most of the Brown Shrimps were at the end of their life span and a few died in the bucket. To compound the poor day, I cycled to the beach on the loaded Trade's Bike against a south-westerly Force 3, and whilst I was shrimping the wind turned to the north-east and rose to Force 4 and I could see this on the sea as the white crests on the braking waves increased in frequency. I had to cycle back against the wind as well. 

23 April 2011
There were almost ideal condition for shrimpingof Lancing Beach (east Widewater) with a gentle almost imperceptible swell, almost negligible Light Breeze Force 2, (5 mph, NNE), pleasant weather with an air temperature of 18.9 °C on the 9.50 am low tide of 1.1 metres. Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, were common (200+ caught in 40 minutes), although some were too small for the pot. The water was clear and free of weed, but there was very little else around. I caught two young Plaice, Pleuronectes platessa, one of which escaped and a handful shot off at the approach of the smaller (one metre) semi-circular shrimp net, and the only other incidentals were three very small Common Hermit Crabs, Pagurus bernhardus, (i.e. not Diogenes) in Grey Topshells and Netted Dogwhelk shells. Advection fog set in over the sea as the tide turned and the visibility was diminished to under 50 metres. 
Met Office: Shoreham

27 May 2010
Ever such a lot, at least two pints of Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, in the shrimp-net off Widewater, but there was nothing else of interest in the net except for frequent flatfish fry and a handful of small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris.

21 May 2010
My first shrimping outing of the year using my smaller three foot wide shrimp net on the medium tide on Lancing Beach (Widewater West) yielded a rather poor 30 or so Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, but not enough exhibits for Adur World Oceans Day 2010: a left-eyed flatfish* that was too large for the aquarium, only a very small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, two South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator, one very small Vernal Crab, Liocarcinus vernalis, and an even smaller tiny swimming crab Portumnus latipes was the total catch in an hour on a tide that had not receded enough. 
 
*The flatfish was identified as a Turbot, Psetta maxima, measuring 180 mm (excluding the caudal fin) long and 80 mm wide (excluding fins) and weighing about 125 grams.

June 2009
 

My larger shrimp net, the same design that appeared on River Walks

The Edible Seashore (River Cottage Handbook No. 5)
by John Wright
is published

Book Review

3 June 2009
A Force 4 easterly Breeze prevented any serious shrimping on Southwick Beach as the waves rolled in. A quick ten minute push on the outgoing tide produced a medium-sized Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, one swimming crab Portumnus latipes with "fleur-de lis" markings, five Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, and two flatfish (probably Plaice) fry
British Intertidal Crabs

Lesser Weever on show at Adur World Oceans Day 200829 May 2009
Shrimping was possible after some poor weather. And the conditions were ideal off Lancing Beach (near the Church of the Good Shepherd) but the haul of Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, amount to about thirty all after the tide turned and with the incoming tide. Luckily (because the expedition was to get exhibits for Adur World Oceans Day 2009) the haul with my smaller U-shaped net including two medium-sized Lesser Weevers, Echiichthys vipera, amongst the weed so I had to be careful of the venomous fins, two adult Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, one intact Vernal Crab Liocarcinus vernalis, half a dozen flatfish (probably Plaice) fry, one small Plaice, two South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator, one swimming crab Portumnus latipes, and a very young Greater Pipefish Syngnathus acus. A Painted Lady Butterfly fluttered around my head. 

23 May 2009
The early evening shrimping expedition at Lancing (by Widewater) was exceptionally poor registering just half a dozen Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, with most of them too small and one large one escaped through the net meshing. Incidental captures were exiguous: three very young Greater Pipefish Syngnathus acus, three Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris,  two one-clawed Vernal Crabs Liocarcinus vernalis, half a dozen flatfish (probably Plaice) fry, one South-clawed Hermit Crab, Diogenes pugilator, and a Lesser Spotted Dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula pursewith an embryo. There was a much darker brown different pipefish that escaped the net. This could have been either a juvenile Worm Pipefish Nerophis lumbriciformis, or even a juvenile Snake Pipefish Entelurus aequoreus. A clump of the black grape-like Cuttlefish eggs were discovered washed up on the strandline
Tide height: 0.84 metres 
 

Brown Shrimp, Crangon crangon, photographed whilst snorkelling off Stonycove - a tiny little village near Kinsale, County Cork. 
 

12 May 2008
Even more perfect conditions, a bit cooler and no breeze and only the occasional rogue swell from a passing ship, my Brown Shrimp, Crangon crangon, haul at Southwick Beach was about two pints.Other captures in the shrimp nets were a few shrimp length Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, a few small to full sized Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, one large fully grown 5-Bearded Rockling, Ciliata mustela, (which looked very much like a 3-Bearded Rockling, Gaidropsarus vulgaris, until the beards were counted), one juvenile Dragonet, Callionymus lyra, a few Vernal Crabs, Liocarcinus vernalis, one damaged (missing a claw) Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus, about a dozen Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas, with a few netted eating shrimps, a few very small swimming crabs Portumnus latipes, one South-clawed Hermit Crab, Diogenes pugilator, in a Sting Winkle shell, and a colourful Little Cuttle Sepiola
BMLSS Crabs of the Seashore

11 May 2008

 
Lesser Weever John Wright and Peter Talbot-Elsden
Perfect shrimping conditions were encountered on the morning low tide at Southwick Beach (1.2 metres at 10:40 am) on a sunny hazy day with an air temperature of 22.1 °C and a gentle swell. The haul included plentiful Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, with all three shrimpers getting more than enough for a meal each in under an hour, one fully grown Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, and a few small ones, a few small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, a few Vernal Crabs, Liocarcinus vernalis, one damaged (missing a claw) Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus,and two green Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas.
 
 
Peter Talbot-Elsden Andy Horton

Three Photographs by John Wright

Edible Seashore (River Cottage Handbook No. 5)

5 May 2008
On Bank Holiday Monday, it felt warm for the first time this year as the temperature reached 20.0 °C at midday. The wind was from the south-east at 13 mph (Force 2) on the low tide in the late afternoon
Shoreham Weather

My first shrimping expedition of the year at Lancing produced a moderate amount of Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, plus one Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, one small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris,two Vernal Crabs, Liocarcinus vernalis, and South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator, amongst more weed than is usual at the beginning of May. The Force 2  produced an occasional wave with a breaking whitecap. The main problem (east of Lancing Sailing Club) was a patch of soft sand (almost certainly caused by bait digging). 
Sussex Marine Life

27 April 2008
Early morning shrimping was poor with just 20 Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon.

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden


8 June 2007
Whilst shrimping off Southwick, I caught two Thornback Rays, Raja clavata, in the large push-net. The largest of the rays was estimated at over 20 cm across the wings. 
Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden


4 June 2007
Shrimping at Southwick produced one Sole. Solea solea, six small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, two types of Hermit Crabs, and sandy coloured crabs as well.

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
BMLSS Hermit Crabs

24 May 2007
A shrimping expedition to Lancing Beach (just to the west of Lancing Sailing Club) on a low neap 1.9 metre tide revealed the sandy shallows and a clear sea on a calm day and the haul in 40 minutes or so using my small 60 cm push-net was about 100 Brown Shrimps Crangon crangon, small flatfish fry, one small Plaice, occasional small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascarisand one second year Sole. Solea solea, a handful of South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator, a few very small Common Hermit Crabs, Pagurus bernhardus  in Grey Topshells, one Vernal Crab, Liocarcinus vernalis, and a few of the swimming crabs Portumnus latipes.
BMLSS Crabs

16 March 2007
 
Vernal Crab with a Brown Shrimp

My first shrimping (using my 2 foot wide folding net) expedition of 2007 took me to a breezy (Force 4) Shoreham Beach (just west of Weald Dyke) and half an hour push-netting brought me about twenty Brown Shrimps, one Shore Prawn, a small Plaice and three Vernal Crabs, Liocarcinus vernalis.
BMLSS Crabs of the Seashore


16 June 2006
The shrimp haul at Southwick included a Little Cuttle and a 5-Bearded Rockling, Ciliata mustela.

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden


31 May 2006
One day later, the junior shrimp net was repaired with a bolt and wing-nut and there were over a hundred Brown Shrimps off Lancing beach (east Widewater), a handful of South-clawed Hermit Crabs, Diogenes pugilator and a colourful Little Cuttle Sepiola, a small Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris and flatfish fry.
Intertidal 2006
BMLSS Prawns & Shrimps

Brown Shrimp

30 May 2006
My junior (metre wide) shrimp net broke under the weight of loose mixed seaweed off Lancing beach (east Widewater) and there were just two Brown Shrimps and a South-clawed Hermit Crab, Diogenes pugilator, in a Netted Dogwhelk shell.
 

5 March 2006

A shrimping expedition (push-net) to the sandy shallows of Southwick beach produced four small Sand-eels, Ammodytes tobianus, but these were so small that most of these elongate fish would have escaped through the netting. Small fish fry were caught in the net as well. 
Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden

 

Tim Hoy with a home made shrimp-net in Ireland 2004

2 May 2005
A Sand Sole, Pegusa lascaris, and a Plaice in the shrimp push-net off Southwick, but there were only ten Brown Shrimps on the low neaps. This is a very poor shrimping return for April or May. However, these two fish have not been knowingly caught before whilst shrimping or rockpooling, so this was a successful outing.

The calm sea was deceptive, the rolling waves were being enjoyed by apprentice surfers

Loaded Shrimping Bikes at Southwick beach
Pashley-Hercules hybrid and a Gundle
 
 

These are only small lightweight push-nets that can be used as supplementary nets whilst rockpooling and not strong or large enough for practical shrimping. 
 
 
 
 

Peeled Shrimps














19 June 2003

SHRIMPING FOR FOOD AND FUN

Local shrimper Peter Talbot-Elsden, from Southwick (Sussex), has produced a small booklet called “Shrimping for Food and Fun” about catching the brown shrimp around the coasts of Britain. The shrimps are caught in nets and the book features the various methods, firstly the push-netting seen over the sand in shallow water in spring off the Sussex coast. The famous Morecambe Bay shrimps were originally captured by cart shanker shrimping with a horse and cart in deeper water off the Lancashire coast, later replaced by a tractor. At Formby, they experimented with amphibious vehicles after World War II. Nowadays, most commercial shrimping on the east coast around King’s Lynn trawls from small boats using a net off the stern. Shrimps are often cooked on board.

The 28 page book contains 40 photographs of shrimping through the ages. It is available through Bookworms of Shoreham and other booksellers and museums at £3.50. (It does NOT contain details of how to make a shrimp net.)
The booklet is still available through the British Marine Life Study Society, but at £4 including postage and packing. The cheque should be made payable to the BMLSS and sent to:

British Marine Life Study Society
Shrimping Booklet
Glaucus House
14 Corbyn Crescent
Shoreham-by-Sea
West Sussex
BN43 6PQ

The booklet can now be ordered directly from by Peter Talbot-Elsden

Peter Talbot-Elsden manned the shrimp display at Adur World Oceans Day.

To obtain your Shrimping Book, please telephone Peter Talbot-Elsden @ 01273 591846 or EMail: crangon11@gmail.com



Brown Shrimp on Wikipedia

FAO Brown Shrimp

Handling and processing shrimp (Torry Research Station) FAO

Brown Shrimp (MarLIN)

Shrimping on the Thames (by Charles Dickens)
 

The last horse fishermen of Belgium, Oostduinkerke on the West Flanders coast is the only place in the world where you will still see the 500-year-old tradition of fishermen trawling for shrimp on horseback.

Horseback Shrimp Fishing, Oostduinkerke
Shrimping by Boat (Commercial, Netherlands)



Shorewatch Project EMail Glaucus@hotmail.com 
All messages will receive a reply. 
 
Shorewatch Project

 

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FIVE KINGDOMS TAXONOMIC INDEX TO BRITISH MARINE WILDLIFE
Use these links if your are familiar with the scientific classifications of marine life

 

Peter Talbot-ElsdenCharlie Dimmock