Today marks the opening of the 2021 Spiny lobster season. Lobster is one of the most economically important seafood products for Belizean fishermen.
As the season kicks off, don't forget there are still regulations to follow!
- Minimum carapace length is 3 inches. - Minimum tail weight is 4 ounces. - It is illegal to have in possession any soft shell lobster or females with eggs (berried). - It is illegal to remove from any female lobster any eggs or spawn or the setae or fibre to which any eggs or spawn are or have been attached.
Remember, an open season doesn't mean free for all. Fish responsibly!
Photo by John Romero
Re: Lobster Season Opens Today
#551224 07/01/2111:00 AM07/01/2111:00 AM
The Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation today celebrates the opening of the 2021/2022 Spiny Lobster season, which in accordance with the Fisheries regulation 24A (1), runs from July 1 to February 28 of any year.
“We celebrate our blue economy… our fishing industry… our fisherfolks and our marine natural heritage as a continuing strong foundation for our national development and securing a quality of life for our people. At the Ministry, we join this economic sector alongside our linkage sectors like tourism and agriculture and work aggressively for the economic prosperity of our country,” said Hon. Abner Andre Perez, Minister of the Blue Economy & Civil Aviation, as he wished all fishers a successful season.
In 2020, a total of 2,257,673 pounds of live weight was produced for the 2020-2021 lobster fishing season. The approximate export value for 2020-2021 lobster fishing season is US$12.5 million. This data represents: -
• 677,490 pounds spiny lobster tail • 26,941.40 pounds lobster head meat • 225,203.30 pounds of whole lobster
Belize’s blue economy is life and livelihood for our people, many of our communities and the well-being and development of our overall national economy. The ministry, therefore, reminds all fishers to adhere to the legally mandated regulations for the Spiny Lobster, which specifically ensure the sustainability of Belize’s fishery sector. The public is advised of the following regulations which relates to the Spiny Lobster in Belize:
1. No person shall take in the waters of Belize or buy, sell or have in his possession crawfish: -
a. if the cape length is longer than three inches or tail weight is less than four ounces:
b. that is berried, has eggs or spawn;
c. that has had the berries, eggs or spawn removed;
d. that is moulting or has soft shell;
e. fillet or diced lobster tail meat, except under a special permit issued by the Fisheries Administrator.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-regulation (1) above-
a. crawfish with a cape length of less than three inches may be taken in the waters of Belize for aquaculture purposes under license granted by the Minister;
b. crawfish that is berried (has eggs) may be taken in waters of Belize for aquaculture purposes under a special license granted by the Minister.
The Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation wishes all fisherfolks and fishing communities a productive season.
Re: Lobster Season Opens Today
#551235 07/02/2104:20 AM07/02/2104:20 AM
Lobster season officially opens; island fishers busy at work
For all those lovers of the Caribbean Spiny Lobster, the 2021-2022 season officially opened on Thursday, July 1st. Fishermen in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, set sail early in the morning and hours later returned with a bounty of tasty crustaceans that were sold and delivered to restaurants. The opening of the season also signals another anticipated event on the island – the annual lobster festival.
One of the many fishermen who welcomes the season is Francisco Morales, who, along with his crew, brought in around 400 pounds of lobster on the first day. Morales shared with The San Pedro Sun that he and his colleagues have been fishing for 18 years and being out at sea doing what they love the most is the best job in the world. Morales said that they surpassed the amount of lobster on this first day compared to 2020. “We had a very good first day. There is plenty of lobster out there this time, and we look forward to a good season,” said Morales. According to him, the amount of lobster seems healthy but urges other fishermen to be responsible and respect the law by not fishing undersized ones.
The body part of the lobster used by businesses is mostly the tail. However, others prefer it complete with its head. Either way, it is a delicacy loved by both Belizeans and visitors alike.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Today is the start of the 2021 lobster season!! Caye Caulker fishermen got up early to haul up their catch. Where are you gonna have your first lobster for the season? Tropic Air
Re: Lobster Season Opens Today
#551236 07/02/2104:30 AM07/02/2104:30 AM
Have you developed a sudden craving for lobster? Well, that may be
because the season officially opens today and fisherfolks have been out
at sea all day in hopes of catching that sought after seafood.
And stakeholders in the industry are hopeful of a bigger bounty than
last year's COVID crustacean crisis. So, lobster lovers can expect an
excess of their favourite dishes.
And to kick off the season, Courtney Menzies visited the Northern
Fisheries Cooperation where the first few shipments of lobster came in.
Here is her story.
Whether you like them broiled, baked, or bathed in butter, you'll soon be
able to enjoy your favourite lobster dish. Restaurants are gearing up for
this lobster season, but they're not as excited as the fisherfolk who've
been out since dawn with their traps.
The first shipment of lobster 121 pounds was delivered to the Northern
Fisheries Cooperation this morning, before 11am.
This year is different though because the fishers had to wait an additional
two weeks. Normally, the season starts June 15th, but it's been pushed
back, and the chairman of the Co-op says it'll stay that way.
Estevan Solis - Chairman, Northern Fisheries Coop
"I think this will continue, the first of July, because the other countries
have already moved it to the first of July, only Belize left, so I think it
will continue although July is a rainy month so I think we will have some
bad weather but we have to work with it and we will get used to it."
But all that waiting didn't dampen the anticipation that this season will
be more successful than last year's.
"I think it will be a little bit better this season. Because you know last
season, the COVID affect us a lot because up to the export prices,
everything, I think this season will be a better one and we would encourage
our fishermen, our members, to take the vaccine and we will be in a better
position than last season. Last season we approximately export nearly
300,000 pounds and this new year we are expecting a little bit more because
this is half a month more so more lobster supposed to be there."
And what do the fishers have to say? Well, our colleagues at the San Pedro
Sun spoke with one fisher on the island who's excited to be back on the sea
and says this season already looks a lot more promising.
Francisco Morales - Fisherman
"It was good, it felt good because long time we haven't hooked, you know.
Season was closed and then till now."
Reporter "So, it was a good catch today?"
"It was a good catch today. Compared to todayÃ¢â‚¬¦ today was better because we
catch more today than last year. Last year we catch little bit, this year
we catch more, like 300-400 pounds."
Reporter "Just today?"
"Just today. It's good because the price is a right price they are giving
us. Unlike that last time when they were giving us $15 a pound. Now they're
giving for 29 or 30, a good price. We build our own lobster trap and we buy
our own material like the zinc, the nails, and then we build it and we take
it out to the sea and throw it into the water."
And while there's not a lot of lobster on the market for restauranteurs so
far, soon they'll be flooded with the prized crustacean for you to grill up
or chow down - once you can pay that very dear price.
This batch of prime catch Spiny Lobster demonstrates Belize's blue economy ability to specialty brand our products to fetch higher prices on the export market. Hon. Abner Andre Perez - Minister of Blue Economy & Civil Aviation visits with company representatives purchasing marine products for exportation. CEO Kennedy Carrillo shows off a proud catch from our fisher folks.