If you love lobster tacos, please pay attention to the regulations so that lobster populations stay alive
Lobster fishing is a widespread fishery throughout the Caribbean region (Caribbean spiny lobster) and is one of the most important fisheries in the Yucatan Peninsula. Because of this, the populations of this species have declined in many areas of its range and many stakeholders are making an effort to make this fishery sustainable.
For example, many years of collaborations between stakeholders in Quintana Roo resulted in a sustainable brand called ‘Chakay’ (https://www.conecto.mx/en/chakay-2/) which is a collective brand of a marine resource with an identifiable geographical origin. Importantly, this model of sustainable branding was applied in two marine protected areas of Quintana Roo (Bancho Chinchorro and Sian Ka’an) and has set up regulations to allow the sustainability of lobster which, in turn, assures the sustainability of a trade and the community that depends on it. The association of the brand with a geographical identity means that consumers, chefs and other buyers commit to supporting the conservation and management of this species by promoting sustainable practices within protected areas and encouraging responsible local and regional fishing practices.
Many more efforts are being made to look after this source. There are two major regulations of lobsters’ fishery locally which are trying to ensure the populations remain healthy and we can all keep eating it in the future. One is the size of the lobster and another one is the banning season: 1) The minimum size estimated by experts to fish lobster is 13.5 cm of abdominal length (or tail length) and 74 cm of body length, this size limit tries to protect the younger stages so they can reproduce before being fished out. 2) A 4-month closed season (March 1 to June 30) which protects parched females (carrying eggs) and gives the population a break from harvesting.
Dear lobster fans, know that consuming lobster during the ban promotes illegal fishing and an international market when there is a high-quality local market that is trying hard to regulate its resource. So, if you love lobster tacos, please pay attention to the regulations so that lobster populations stay alive.