Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Belize Lobster fishery
Fishery  Fact Sheet
WECAFC Fishery Resources Report 2017
Belize Lobster fishery
Fact Sheet Citation  
Lobster fishery
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – more>>

Location of Belize Lobster fishery

Geographic reference:  Belize
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2014
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Traps  

Type of production system: Artisanal
Fishery Area: Belize

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Caribbean spiny lobster

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Tail weight ...
Fishery Indicators
Production: Export value…

Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Artisanal   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Tropical.   Horizontal distribution: Littoral.   Vertical distribution: Benthic.  

Geo References
Fishing Gear
Gear nei
Traps, lobster sheds, free diving
Related Fisheries - Fishery(ies) switching activity seasonally or targeting the same stock
Belize Queen conch fishery
Vessel Type
Tail weight fishing capacity <500 MT. Satellite monitoring for the industrial fleet

Fisherfolks Community
Coastal communities such as Sarteneja, Hopkins Village, Monkey River Village, Copper Bank and others
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
ProductionExport value on the international market13.6 MillionB$2014
Post Harvest
Fish Utilisation
Tails, whole precooked
Internal, USA
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Belize fisheries department
Mandate: Monitoring; Control and surveillance.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Belize
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Regime
Management Methods

Lobster Management Plan with focus on Effort control, Catch control, Fish size limits, Social measures - Binding

Coastal network of 8 marine reserves. There is a Lobster Management Plan, a National Managed Access Programme and data sharing with Statistical Institute of Belize (S.I.B), Belize Central Bank, fishing cooperatives, NGOs and other Departments.
  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Minimum size (minimum cape length is 3 inches or 7.6 cm, minimum tail weight is 4 ounces or 113.4 g). Prohibition of possession of diced lobster tail meat. It is prohibited to capture “berried” or egg bearing lobsters, lobsters with “tar” spot and molting lobsters.
  • Gear-related measures
    Prohibition of lobster fishing with SCUBA gear. No lobster traps are allowed beyond the barrier reef. No lobster traps are allowed within a distance of 300 m from any coral formation.
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Fishing quotas, Closed Area, Closed season (15 Feb to 14 June). No commercial deep water fishing is allowed.
Status and Trends
The recruitment to the fishery shows that a decrease occurs from 1999-2000 with a rapid recuperation and stabilization from 2001 -2005, however there was a decrease in 2006.
Source of Information
Fisheries Department, Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Belize City, Belize. Personal communication, June 2017.  Click to open
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