Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Lobster, California Spiny

© B. Guild Gillespie/www.chartingnature.com
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


California Spiny Lobster, Traps, Mexico

California Spiny lobsters from Mexico are considered a "Best Choice" as they are caught from a stable population using fishing methods with minimal environmental impact. Fisheries on the Baja California Peninsula and the Yucatan Peninsula are certified as sustainable to the Marine Stewardship Council standards.

Consumer Note

Spiny lobsters from Mexico are imported in to the US and represent approximately 2% of the market place. They are caught using traps in Baja California, and with the aid of casitas (shelters) in the Caribbean where lobsters take shelter in the artificial structure and are collected by hand by divers.

Summary

In many spiny lobster fisheries there is a lack of information on the stock which leads to uncertainties in management effectiveness, however the Mexican fisheries have good data collection and recent stock assessments have shown that populations are stable. Both traps and casitas have a minimal impact on the environment. There are some concerns with bycatch in the trap fisheries, including cormorants; however these impacts are not thought to endanger the seabird populations.

The Mexican fisheries are well managed and represent the "Best Choice" for consumers looking for a sustainable source of lobster.


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat