Crawfish survey

Crawfish, Palinurus elephas (also known as crayfish, rock lobster or European spiny lobster) are one of the largest crustacean species found in British and Irish waters. They suffered a dramatic decrease in population as a result of tangle netting and diver collection, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s.

Crawfish is listed on Section 7 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, a Species of Principle Importance in England, a Priority Species in Northern Ireland and on Scotland’s Priority Marine Features List.

If you are lucky enough to see a crawfish please do not collect it!

This record is being submitted to iRecord. If you have an iRecord account, please log in so that this sighting is assigned to your records. If you are not already registered with iRecord we highly recommend to register so that you can view your previous records and use all the site’s facilities. However, you can continue without registering by providing your details below. We ask for these in case we need to contact you when verifying your sighting. They will not be used for any other purpose.
Personal details

Please provide your first name

Please provide your surname


Please provide your email address. This will only be used to contact you if we require further information to verify the record.


Enter as: lastname, firstname.


The date you saw the Crawfish.


Provide the name of the general location and/or site where you saw the Crawfish.


You can fill this in by clikcing on the map at the precise location where you saw the Crawfish, or you can enter the lat/lng directly, e.g. '56.19174N 5.94385W' (without the quotes).

Please enter the time your search started. Enter with a 24 hour format like this - HH:MM, for example 13:00 or 09:25.

Estimate the minimum depth at which you saw Crawfish.

Estimate the maximum depth at which you saw Crawfish.

You must enter at least one record in the table below to record Crawfish. You can enter more than one line if you saw a number of Crawfish which differed in one or more details, e.g. size or habitat.

To enter a line, type the letter p in the species column, then hit your enter key when the scientific name of the species - Palinurus elephas - appears.

Fill in as many other details as you can. For more help see below...

Step 1
Select a species first
SpeciesNumber seenCarapace length (cm)SizeSubstrateHabitat detailCommentSensitivityPhotos

Measuring or estimating size

If the animal is sufficiently exposed you may be able to estimate the length of the carapace, which is taken from the rear edge of the carapace to the spine between the eyes (see image on the right).

If you can't estimate the length of the carapace, try to give a rough idea of the size from the options illustrated below.

  • tiny - use for carapace up to 5 cm
  • small - use for 5-10 cm carapace
  • medium - use for 10-15 cm carapace
  • large - use for 15-20 cm carapace
  • very large - use for carapace over 20 cm
Tiny (up to 5 cm carapace)Small (5-10 cm carapace)Medium (10-15 cm carapace)Large (15-20 cm carapace)Very large (over 20 cm carapace)
Tiny CrawfishSmall CrawfishMedium CrawfishLarge CrawfishVery large Crawfish

Substrate and habitat details

It is really helpful if you are able to give an indication of the substrate and/or habitat where you saw the Crawfish. For substrate we simply ask you to say whether it was soft or hard. If you can supply us with further habitat details by specifying one of the options below, so much the better.

  • rocky reef (flat)
  • rocky reef (vertical)
  • boulder reef
  • wreck
  • mixed sediments
  • other

If you select other, please give a short description of the habiat in the comment field in the same row.

You should also use the comments field to include other information on individuals, e.g. "buried females (carrying eggs)".

You can use the text box above to provide any further information which you think is relevant to this record.