Bahamas Spiny Lobster fishery certified as sustainable

Bahamas spiny lobster. Image: Rüdiger Stehn
Fisheries

The Bahamas spiny lobster fishery is the first Caribbean fishery to receive Marine Stewardship Council certification

The Bahamas spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery is the world’s first Caribbean fishery to be awarded Marine Stewardship Council certification, after a detailed 19-month assessment.

The analysis was conducted by third-party assessment body Control Union Pesca Ltd and included review and input by a team of fishery science and policy experts to evaluate the fishery according to the three principles of the MSC Fisheries Standard: the health of the stock of spiny lobster; the impact of fishing on the marine environment; and the management of the fishery.

Lobster fishermen and other members of the client group worked closely with government and researchers in The Bahamas to improve the fishery to the level required by the MSC Standard.

“Congratulations to the Bahamas Marine Exporters Association (BMEA) on this notable achievement, and for their years of hard work alongside partners to improve the fishery. We’re thrilled to welcome this fishery to the program, and to provide consumers with a sustainable option for lobster tails, for this generation and those to come,” pointed out Brian Perkins, MSC’s Regional Director for the Americas.

For her part, Mia Isaacs, president of BMEA, highlighted it has been a collaborative effort and expressed their aim for the product to become synonymous with strength, collaboration and sustainability.

Since 2009, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), BMEA, The Bahamas Department of Marine Resources and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), have been driving improvements to the fishery.

Spiny lobster is an important commercial species in The Bahamas and the USD 90 million Bahamian lobster industry employs about 9,000 fishers who cover a massive 45,000 square miles of ocean.

Source: Fish Information and Services. Find out more about the MSC Fisheries Standard at the Marine Stewardship Council website

[Image: Rüdiger Stehn]

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