Mexico Starts Management Plan For Sustainable Lobster

Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa) recently launched a Fishery Management Plan for the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) in the Yucatan Peninsula in order to promote the sustainable use and conservation of this fishery.

The federal agency hopes that this measure will generate direct benefits to more than 1,500 families in 18 fishing communities in this region, whose main activity is the capture of the crustacean.

This Management Plan, which was prepared by the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca) includes conducting fishery-biological studies of lobster populations and determining biomass levels in each fishing area. The gathered information will be used to set the catch.

The preferential lobster habitat will also be analyzed and studies will be carried out on the impact of the fishery for this species on other populations of fish, crustaceans and mollusks that are caught in the region.

Sagarpa reported that the possibility of semi-culture or culture of organisms through aquaculture processes as an alternative for promoting the production of this food will be explored.

Further actions are also considered including the establishment of closed seasons, minimum sizes and catch volumes as well as the release of female specimens in the fecundity phase in fishing seasons, which contributes to the protection of the reproducing organisms and to the conservation of the species.

The plan includes training programs on the proper resource management, environmental education, handling fishing gear and sanitary measures to achieve higher quality in production.

Furthermore, it will also be sought to encourage diversification in product presentation, and so the training for management and marketing live lobster is being promoted. 

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