Caribbean Spiny Lobsters
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Friday July 10, 2015

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Nice view of a lobster face, photo by Allen Raphael.

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WCSGloversReef.org
The Gloverís Reef Research Station is an ideal location for marine research and the only research facility within the Gloverís Reef Marine Reserve.  Owned by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the station is located approximately 45 km off the coast of Belize on the Gloverís Reef Atoll, the southernmost of Belizeís three coral atolls, which supports extraordinarily high biological diversity across its 35,000 hectares. Since 1995, the station has provided a platform for scientists to conduct cutting-edge research at one of the Caribbeanís most complex and important coral reef systems.
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Caribbean Spiny Lobsters

Caribbean Spiny Lobster, along with Queen Conch, are critical to the ecology of marine habitats and form the backbone of the fisheries industry in Belize supplying local, tourist and export markets. The Wildlife Conservation Society is committed to supporting the sustainable use of these resources for future generations.

If you havenít encountered the Caribbean Spiny Lobster in the wild, thereís a good chance you have actually interacted with this crustacean before on your dinner plate! If youíve ever ordered lobster tail, the chances are youíre ordering spiny lobster.

This commercially important species lacks the large front claws of its cousin, the American lobster, so itís mostly harvested for its tail meat.

They live in dense vegetation as juveniles but then move into coral reefs, sponges, and crevices as they grow. These lobsters can live for 20 years and ó if the conditions are right ó grow to an impressive two feet long.

Along with queen conch, the Caribbean spiny lobster is one of the most valuable exports for small Caribbean countries, and a collapse in this fishery would threaten coastal economies in many places.

Photograph by Gloverís Reef Research Station

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