Dublin Bay Prawn

Nephrops Norvegicus (Linnaeus)

Appears in

By Alan Davidson

Published 1981

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Family Nephropidae

* This name is used loosely in (and outside!) Italy. Scampi in a restaurant are not necessarily Dublin Bay prawns, although they should be in Britain, where a labelling of food regulation restricts the use of the name.

REMARKS Maximum length 24 cm, i.e. a shade more than the largest crevettes. Rose-grey or pink in colour. There is a large colony of the species in the Adriatic, and it is more or less common in the western and central parts of the Mediterranean, but becomes rare from Greece eastwards. It has a wide distribution in the eastern Atlantic. British fishermen used to discard Dublin Bay prawns when they caught them, but the growth in demand since the 1950s has now made them a highly profitable catch, and ‘scampi’ have graduated to the status of one of the best-known seafoods on British restaurant menus. Their English name derives from the presence of the species in large numbers in the waters between the Isle of Man and the Irish coast.