This post is also available in: Spanish
Do you love lobster? Well if you do, unfortunately you’re going to have to wait until the end of June before you can eat it again. Why? Because there is a ban on FISHING and PROCESSING lobster in the Caribbean from March 1st to June 30th.
In previous years this ban has been focussed mainly on fishing lobster, but as the ban actually prohibits the “capture, processing, meat or mass possession and marketing”, restaurants and tour operators who may have stock-piled lobster for use during this ban are no longer able to do this… essentially meaning that lobster should currently not be available to eat.
The ban applies specifically to the spiny lobster, spotted spiny lobster, spiny rock lobster and spiny lobster mom.
The ban has been applied in order to preserve these species, which for the last few years has been in great danger due to over-fishing. The lobster ban has been implemented after the Dominican Republic joined, along with Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, the Central American Integration System (SICA) and after all of these countries signed a treaty with the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector (OSPESCA), an organization based in Honduras that aims to raise awareness among Central American countries on the protection of this species.
Why now? The ban has been established between March 1st and June 30th because this is the time that lobsters located in the Caribbean and Central America are breeding. The ban has also been attributed to the fact that lobsters in the Dominican Republic show, according to the Dominican Government, “clear signs of overexploitation,” which has gradually caused a shortage of them in retail.
About the Lobster Ban
The first Lobster Ban applied in countries located in the Caribbean and Central America was first held in 2010, based on a regulation signed by the Governments of region countries on May 21st of the previous year (2009).
From March 1st to June 30th every year, the capture, processing, meat or mass possession and marketing of the spiny lobster, spotted spiny lobster, spiny rock lobster and spiny lobster mom are prohibited.
Not only does the ban contribute to preserving the species, but it also helps to improve it’s quality for exports.
Anyone that is found disrespecting the ban could be fined up to US$50,000 as well as jail sentences of up to 10 years.
So please remember not to fish or buy fresh lobsters in any of the seafood centers or beaches as a way of protecting them.