Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Turks and Caicos Islands Lobster fishery
Fishery  Fact Sheet
WECAFC Fishery Resources Report 2016
Turks and Caicos Islands Lobster fishery
Fact Sheet Citation  
Lobster Fishery
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – more>>

Overview: The Caribbean spiny lobster, as a resource, represents a major economic aspect of the Turks and Caicos Islands fisheries with the majority of landed lobsters being exported to foreign markets. Lobsters are primarily harvested by free-divers using what is called a "hook-stick". Trap openings can be modified in a way to enable or prevent lobsters from entering the trap.

Location of Turks and Caicos Islands Lobster fishery

Geographic reference:  Turks and Caicos Islands
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2015
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Grappling and wounding gears
Type of production system: Commercial; Subsistence; Recreational
Fishery Area: Turks and Caicos Is.

Seasonality: August to March

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Caribbean spiny lobster
Associated Species: Channel-clinging crab; Spanish slipper lobster; Variegated triton …  

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Other fishing vessels  

Fishery Indicators
Nominal Effort: Number of vessels
Employment: Number of fishermen
Production: Landed Volume

Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Commercial; Subsistence; Recreational   

Fishery Area
Bottom type: Coral reef; Hard bottom.   Depth zone: Coastal - Shallow waters, inshore (0 m - 50 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Benthic.  

Caicos Bank. Coral reef, patch reef, holes, crevices, overhangs and artificial structures.

Geo References
Vessel Type
Other fishing vessels
Pot vessels
Fiberglass, 20ft, 90HP

Flag State
Turks and Caicos Is.
Fishing Gear
Grappling and wounding gears
Hook-stick/tickle-stick, hawaiian sling, pole spear.
August to March

Environmental limitations

Weather/Sea conditions
Providenciales, South Caicos
Trip Duration
1 day
Fisherfolks Community
Turks and Caicos nationals
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels ~150vessels2015
EmploymentNumber of fishermen ~347Persons2015
ProductionLanded Volume 220tonnes2014
Post Harvest
Turks and Caicos Islands, USA
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR)
Mandate: Scientific Advice; Management; Monitoring; Control and surveillance.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Turks and Caicos Is.
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Regime
Management Methods

Fisheries Regulations with focus on spawner/juvenile protection, environment protection - Binding

  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Minimum carapace length of 3.25 inches, minimum tail weight of 5 ounces, no egg bearing lobsters, no moulting/soft shelled lobsters.
  • Gear-related measures
    No person shall harvest lobsters by means that will prevent the lobster from being returned alive (unless by means of a hook); minimum trap mesh-size of 1.5 inches, traps must have a panel which would deteriorate within 6 weeks if left in the water continuously; no person shall leave pots unattended in-water for a period exceeding 48 hours; traps must be marked with the owner's licence number; no person shall use bleach or any other noxious substances for the harvest of lobster.
  • Vessel-related measures
    Commercial fishing vessel licence, commercial trap fishing vessel licence, sports fishing licence.
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Commercial fisherman's licence (available to native commercial fishers), assistant commercial fisherman's licence (available to foreign commercial fishers), sports fishing licence, closed areas (protected areas), closed season (April - July).
Source of Information
Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), Turks and Caicos Islands Government. Personal Communication, January, 2016.  Click to open
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