Protecting Las Terrenas' Lobsters and Fishermen by respecting the Lobster Closed Season
The objective of this initiative is to create awareness of the problem and help everybody in Las Terrenas to respect the lobster closed season. We are going to accomplish this by making it an economic interest to observe the lobster season.
In this days of social media the information spreads rapidly and reaches everywhere, we are going to use this in our favor.
Businesses that adopt the Lobster Pledge are going to be advertised in this website, social media, local newspapers and other places of interest for tourist and locals (tripadvisor, hotels, etc) and will receive a Pledge Certificate to display proudly in the location. We will also send the list of the businesses that adopted the Lobster Pledge to the Ayuntamiento de Las Terrenas, Tourism Ministry, Environment Ministry and The First Lady Office.
We will also be a medium to denounce those businesses that do not respect the closed season. No business owner will want this bad advertising, and the clients will have the information to decide where do they want to consume.
The Lobster Pledge is not intended to put the fisherman out of work, but quite the opposite. This pledge is to help them reach and maintain a stable and healthy lobster population in Las Terrenas through sustainable and responsible fishing.
This way we will ensure there will be lobster for the benefit of future generations of fisherman, residents and visitors.
What is the problem and why is it a closed season needed?
Local lobster population is declining every year. Lobsters are harder to find and smaller in size. With the development of Las Terrenas and its suburbs, the pressure on the local lobster population is only going to increase. It is mandatory to act now before the damage is irreversible and the lobsters disappear from our shores the way it happened in so many other places in the Caribbean
To avoid the extinction of the lobsters to become a reality, the governments of countries in the Caribbean and central America have imposed a Simultaneous Closed Lobster Season from March 1st until June 30th. The reproduction of the lobsters occur during this period and is necessary to respect the closed season to avoid destroying billions of lobster eggs. If we don't give them a chance to reproduce, the obvious consequence is that there is not going to be any more lobsters.
What is the closed season law says?
Basically, it is forbidden to catch and commerce with any kind of lobster, including the spiny, the spotty, and the slipper lobsters. If any establishment has frozen lobster, this cannot be sold until after the end of the closed season.
Some fishermen and business respect the closed season, many others don't. If things were ideal, the Environment Ministry should enforce this law and apply the hefty sanctions allowed by it to those that do not respect the closed season. Unfortunately this is not the case, and the fishermen and business that want to avid by the law fear to be in a commercial disadvantage against those that don't and face no consequences for violating the law.