Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Saint Lucia Lobster fishery
Fishery  Fact Sheet
WECAFC Fishery Resources Report 2020
Saint Lucia Lobster fishery
Fact Sheet Citation  
Lobster fishery
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – more>>

Overview: The spiny lobster fishery is one of the most important in the nearshore of Saint Lucia, second only to the conch fishery in terms of landings. The fishery has expanded rapidly due to increasing development within the tourism sector. Estimates for total lobster catch are precluded by the nature of these landings and illegal trade thought to occur with the neighbouring island of Martinique (CRFM, 2001). The majority of lobster landings occur during the first four months of the fishing period, or the “low season”.

Location of Saint Lucia Lobster fishery

Geographic reference:  Saint Lucia
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2019
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Pots  

Type of production system: Commercial; Artisanal
Fishery Area: Saint Lucia

Seasonality: August to February …

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Caribbean spiny lobster

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Other fishing vessels
Fishery Indicators
Nominal Effort: Number of vessels
Employment: Number of fishermen
Production: Landed Volume; Landed Value

Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Commercial; Artisanal   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Tropical.   Bottom type: Coral reef.   Depth zone: Coastal - Shallow waters, inshore (0 m - 50 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geo References
Vessel Type
Other fishing vessels
Undecked - pirogue; canoe or shaloop; sizes range between 5 and 9 m; engine capacity between 40 and 250 Hp (outboard).

About 3
Flag State
Saint Lucia
Fishing Gear
Gear nei
Lobster pots, mesh size 1 inch, Antillean "Z" trap. Use of spearguns (diving) and gill nets.
Related Fisheries - Fishery(ies) switching activity seasonally or targeting the same stock
Saint Lucia Flyingfish fishery
Saint Lucia Large pelagic fishery
August to February mainly.
Praslin, Choiseul, Banannes Bay, Dennery, Micoud, Savannes Bay, Vieux Fort, Gros Islet and Laborie are the main landing sites.
Trip Duration
1 day
Fisherfolks Community
Saint Lucia nationals
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels 719vessels2014
Number of vessels 927vessels2019
EmploymentNumber of fishermen 1346Persons2014
Number of fishermen 3364 in registryPersons2019
Number of fishermen 732 captured during annual vessel licensePersons2019
ProductionLanded Volume 30.70tonnes2013
Landed Volume 25.39tonnes2014
Landed Volume 15.52tonnes2015
Landed Volume 9.44tonnes2016
Landed Volume 18.60tonnes2017
Landed Volume 16.94tonnes2018
Landed Volume 13.50tonnes2019
Landed Value 1248.581XCD 10002013
Landed Value 1001.480XCD 10002014
Landed Value 580.942XCD 10002015
Landed Value 336.179XCD 10002016
Landed Value 604.387XCD 10002017
Landed Value 564.135XCD 10002018
Landed Value 469.892XCD 10002019
Post Harvest
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Fisheries Department of Saint Lucia; Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism
Mandate: Management.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Saint Lucia
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Regime
Management Methods

National regulations; vessel licensing system in effect; sport fishery licensing in effect; with focus on Effort control, Fish size limits, Spawner/Juvenile protection; - Binding

Minimum size limits (carapace length ≥95mm); prohibition of taking berried or moulting individuals; closed season from 01 March to 01 August; prohibition on use of spearguns, hooks/gafs, SCUBA gear and trammel nets for catching lobster; despite the licensing system fisheries in Saint Lucia are largely still open access.
  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Minimum carapace size
  • Gear-related measures
    Gear type
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Licenses, closed season
Status and Trends
Declining in nearshore areas due to impacts of land-based sources of pollution on habitat; scarcity in traditional fishing areas; fishery has expanded due to development of tourism.
Source of Information
Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries, Co-operatives and Rural Development, Saint Lucia. Personal communication, July 2020.  Click to open
Scott, S. National Report of Saint Lucia. pp. 38 -50 in: CRFM. 2013. Report of Ninth Annual CRFM Scientific Meeting – Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 10-14 June 2013 - National Reports. CRFM Fishery Report – 2013. Volume 1, Suppl. 1, 61 pp.  Click to open
CRFM Secretariat. 2012. Spiny Lobster Fishery Country Profile: Saint Lucia. Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism Secretariat. Belize City, Belize.  Click to open
Census of the Fisheries Sector in Saint Lucia. 2012.
Baseline Review of the Status and Management of the Caribbean Spiny Lobster Fisheries in the CARICOM Region. In: CRFM Technical Advisory Document, No. 2011/5. 64 pp.  Click to open
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