Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Lobster, Caribbean Spiny

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SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Lobster Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Lobster Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Lobster, American Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Maine Lobster U.S. Gulf of Maine, U.S. Georges Bank Pot, Trap
Lobster, American Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Maine Lobster U.S. Southern New England Pot, Trap
Lobster, California Spiny Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. California, Rock, Spiny California Traps
Lobster, California Spiny Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. California, Rock & Spiny Lobster Mexico Traps
Lobster, Caribbean Spiny Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Caribbean Spiny, Red & Warmwater Lobster Mexico Diver-caught
Lobster, Caribbean Spiny Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Florida, Rock, Spiny & West Indian Spiny Lobster, West Indian Langouste Belize, Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua Diver-caught, Traps
Lobster, Caribbean Spiny Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Caribbean Spiny, Red & Warmwater Lobster Bahamas Diver-caught, Traps
Lobster, Caribbean Spiny Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Caribbean Spiny, Red & Warmwater Lobster Florida Traps


Caribbean Spiny Lobster, Diver-caught & Traps, South America

Avoid spiny lobsters from Belize, Brazil, Honduras and Nicaragua. Spiny lobsters from these countries come from poorly managed fisheries targeting declining populations of lobsters. There are also concerns over high levels of illegal fishing in these countries. Instead look for spiny lobsters caught in the US, Bahamas ("Good Alternative") or Mexico ("Best Choice").

Consumer Note

The majority of spiny lobsters on the U.S. market are imported from Caribbean countries, with Brazil (22%), Honduras (11%) and Nicaragua (12%) being the most common.

Summary

The greatest concern with spiny lobster fisheries in Brazil, Honduras and Nicaragua is the high level of illegal fishing taking place. Illegal fishing can take many forms; in this instance it is typically undersized lobsters, which threatens the sustainability of the populations by removing lobsters before they have the chance to breed. In Brazil there are also issues with the illegal use of gillnets, so much so that in some regions the most popular capture method is this illegal gear. In Brazil, Honduras and Nicaragua illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) is a critical concern and is automatically rated as avoid.

Belize also has issues with illegal landings of undersized lobsters, although this is a smaller percentage of the landings than in the other Caribbean countries. While this is not a critical concern, Seafood Watch still recommends that consumers "Avoid" spiny lobsters from Belize.

For a more sustainable choice, look for spiny lobsters from the US, Bahamas ("Good Alternative") or Mexico ("Best Choice").


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