Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2022. 12:04 pm CST.
Photo Credit: Ministry of Blue Economy
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The fishing community celebrated International Fisherfolk Day on Wednesday in anticipation of the opening of the Lobster Season on Friday, July 1.
The Belize Fisheries Department said the Caribbean Spiny Lobster may be fished from July 1, 2022, to February 28, 2023, but the amendments to the regulations will remain in place for now.
Here in Belize City, boats were blessed on Tuesday, asking for a good and bountiful season for the fisherfolk.
“As is common knowledge, the fishing sector significantly contributes to our GDP. The lobster season begins on July 1st, and we wish all fishermen in Belize a safe and fruitful season that is also sustainable,” said the Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation (MBECA) on Wednesday adding that it took advantage of the opportunity to honor “our outstanding fisherfolk across Belize”.
The Conch Season may have closed last Sunday, June 26, but with the lobster season opening, fisherfolk have another source of income.
After consultation with several fishing communities across the country, the Belize Fisheries Department in the Ministry of Blue Economy made amendments to the Spiny lobster regulations but said these amendments will be implemented in a phased approach. That means the amended lobster regulations that establish a new lobster carapace length of 3.25 inches, a minimum tail weight of 4.5 ounces, and a lobster trap escape gap of 2 1/8 inches will be deferred until next year.
So, for the lobster season that starts on Friday the regulations remain in place as before.
The Belize Fisheries Department says the Lobster Fishery Regulations require the following:
Minimum carapace length is 3 inches
Minimum tail weight is 4 ounces
No person or establishment should have in possession any diced or fillet lobster
It is illegal to have any soft shell (molting) Lobster or females with eggs (berried)
It is illegal to remove from any female lobster, any eggs or spawn or the setae or fibre to which any eggs or spawn are or have been attached.
Closed season for Caribbean Spiny Lobster will be March 1, 2023, to June 30, 2023
The Belize Fisheries Department said it “is committed to the execution of community engagements during this year and in early 2023, to gather additional inputs and recommendations from fishers and fishers’ organizations, which will help to guide the further strengthening of lobster regulations for Belize”.
The Fisheries Department advised fishers and fishers’ organizations to contact the Belize Fisheries Department at 224-4552 or by email ([email protected]) for any clarifications.
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