Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

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

Overview: The lobster fishery is artisanal in nature, it is the number one fishery of the Bahamas, the resource which can be found in the shallow waters throughout the country, it is well managed, and harvest control rules are in place.

Location of Bahamas Lobster fishery

Geographic reference:  Bahamas
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2015
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Gear nei
Type of production system: Commercial
Fishery Area: Bahamas

Seasonality: 1 August - 31 March

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Caribbean spiny lobster
Associated Species: White margate

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Trap setters  

Fishery Indicators
Nominal Effort: Number of vessels
Production: Landed Volume; Landed Value

Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Commercial   

Fishery Area
Bottom type: Seagrass; Coral reef.   Depth zone: Coastal - Shallow waters, inshore (0 m - 50 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Benthic.   Sea floor physiography: Lagoons.  

Geo References
Vessel Type
Trap setters
15 ft (small craft) - 100 ft (motherships)

Catch Handling and Processing Equipment
Large capacity freezer for industrial vessels, ice coolers for artisanal fishing vessels.
2-3 (small vessel), 2-3 (mothership)
Flag State
Fishing Gear
Gear nei
Fish Aggregation Device (casitas), dive compressor, crawfish traps, free diving.
1 August - 31 March

Environmental limitations

All islands
Trip Duration
1 day - 6 weeks
Fisherfolks Community
Bahamas nationals
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels 4000vessels2015
ProductionLanded Volume 2208.34tonnes2014
Landed Value 54601150B$2014
Post Harvest
Fish Utilisation
Frozen lobster tails, live lobsters
France, USA, China
Management unit: Yes

Legal definition
Commercial fishing
Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Department of Marine Resources
Mandate: Management; Monitoring; Control and surveillance; Scientific Advice; Co-ordination.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Bahamas
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Regime
Management Methods

Fisheries Regulations with focus on Size limits, catch control

Catch control through harvest control rules (HCR)
  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Minimum carapace size
  • Gear-related measures
    Wooden lathe traps (Florida Lobster Traps)
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Access by nationality, closed area,closed season,export quota
Status and Trends
Source of Information
Department of Marine Resources, Bahamas. Personal communication, January 2016.  Click to open
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