Time to enjoy the crusty crustacean: Open Lobster Season kicks off festivities
The Belize lobster season 2012/2013 opens today, June 15th and will end at midnight on the 14th of February, 2013. For the past few weeks traditional local fishermen on Ambergris have been gearing up, building new and repairing lobster traps and placing lobster sheds on the waterbeds in anticipation of the new season. Fishermen look forward to the opening of the long awaited lobster season since it generates income into the local economy from the start of the season to the very end. The first big demand for the spiny lobster is during the lobster festivals planned in various parts of the country including Caye Caulker Village, Placencia and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.
San Pedro is the first to kick off the lobster festivals with a week-long calendar of activities. The event kicks off on Friday June 15th at El Divino (Banana Beach Resort) featuring the opening ceremonies. According to the San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee it is a great way to launch the festival on the same day the season opens and with great food. The Lobster Fest will run through Sunday, June 24th. Each day, the event will move to a different location, each with a singular menu depending on the venue.
The one main highlight for the San Pedro Lobster Festival includes the Lobster Crawl, which is basically a passport that will allow you to collect stamps at each location every night of the event. The stamps will entitle the passport holder to raffle tickets for a vacation package for Lobster Fest 2013. Another highlight is the first ever Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge. The two-day event, which starts on Friday June 22nd, will take kayakers completely around the entire Ambergris Caye, into creeks, major lagoons, along the reef and ending at the SP Central Park on Saturday, June 23rd. The end of the kayak race will coincide with the annual Lobster Fest Block party on Saturday June 23rd on Barrier Reef Drive (Main Street). Lobster food booths will be plentiful and the air will be filled with live musical performance which will see the participation of the Panerrifix Steel Band hailing from Belmopan City.
On our sister island of Caye Caulker, the Lobster fest will be held on June 30th and July 1st. There will be many events leading to the Lobster Festival with one of main highlights being the Miss Lobster Festival Queen 2012 pageant. The pageant will take place on Friday June 29th at Palapa’s Garden starting at 7PM and will see five lovely and talented young ladies vie for the coveted crown. The newly crowned Miss Lobster Festival Queen 2012 will deliver the main address the following morning welcoming the festival goers to La Isla Carińosa on June 30th for the two-day festival that end on Sunday July 1st.
Just as the lobster season opens the Fishers Department reminds Belizeans as well as fishermen about the regulations regarding the catching and consumption of lobster. In Belize, for a lobster to be legal for consumption the tail of the lobster must weigh over four ounces or the cape length/carapace must exceed three inches. The carapace of a lobster is referred to the part of the crustacean where the head connects to the tail all the way to the center of the pair of small spines located between the two eyes. The only lobster regulated in Belize is the Caribbean Spiny Lobster scientifically known as Panulirus Argus locally referred to as crawfish (crayfish).
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