Spiny lobster catching season set to open

The following is translated from a press release No. 079 from the Galapagos National Park dated 26/09/15

lobster

The new fishing season for spiny lobsters is set to start on 5 October 2015 in Galapagos. The season will runn until 10 January 2016 and there are currently no existing quota limits.

The catching of red lobster (Panulirus penicillatus) and green lobster (Panulirus gracilis) will be permitted due to the population having been assessed and evaluation as being in a healthy state. However fishers will be asked to follow guidelines for only catching lobsters of a certain size (minimum size of 26cm in length, with at least a 15cm tail).

The opening of this season was decided after examining evidence from analyses conducted by the Galapagos National Park (GNP), together with representatives of the fisheries sector and delegates of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP).  

Alejandra Ordoñez, GNP director, stated that the decision had been made to open the reserve for lobster fishing as a result of considering both technical evidence and socioeconomic factors, as well as due to existing agreements with representatives of the fisheries sector of the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

Donato Rendón, president of UCOPEGAL (Union of Cooperative Fisheries of Galapagos), highlighted that this decision will benefit hundreds of families, commercial entities and the tourist sector across Galapagos connected with the spiny lobster trade.

Monitoring by the environmental authorities will take place in Puerto Ayora, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and in Puerto Villamil. Only in the Itabaca channel will unloading of whole lobsters be permitted. Together with support initiatives for the sector, the GNP will be spearheading a communications campaign with the objective of motivating the consumption of whole lobsters, with outreach in San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Floreana and Isabela

The commercialisation and transportation of lobsters to mainland Ecuador will only be permitted to be carried out by Galapagos fishing cooperatives.

As part of the management strategy proposed by the GNP, and in accordance with GNP Resolution 009-2015, the capture or sale of shrimp will be restricted between 5 October 2015 and 29 February 2016. Additionally, monitoring projects will be undertaken in the first quarter of 2016 as part of a collaboration between the national park and the fishery sector to assess their population status.