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Spider Crabs, South-West Coast

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 11 May 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he can give any information about the spider crab which is being caught on the South-west Coast in great numbers; and whether this shell-fish will be sold in London?

I have been asked to reply. I am informed that the spider crab does not find favour in this country and so is not deliberately sought after, though taken incidentally in some numbers by fishermen on the South-West coast in the course of fishing for other varieties of fish. Spider crabs provide wholesome meat, but the extraction of the edible portions is troublesome and the yield small. For these reasons and because of the lack of any popular demand, it would be uneconomic to send these fish to distant markets, and it is therefore unlikely that they will be sold in London.

Does not my right hon. Friend think there is a possibility of getting one of these spider crabs sent to me, so that I may judge what they are like?

Would the right hon. Gentleman send a spider crab to the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thorne) and see whether he likes it?