Following the closure of the Lobster Season on Sunday, the Belize Fisheries Department issued statistics from the 2014-2015 Season. BFD figures reveal a 0.45% decline in the total production when compared to that of the 2013-2014 season. The Spiny Lobster remains as one of the top marine exports for Belize, with earnings for the 2014-2015 season amounting to an estimated $15.2 Million Belize dollars.
Fisheries recorded a total of 484,891 pounds of lobster being caught out of Belizean waters during this season. The 2014/2015 lobster fishing season is considered a good one and the fishery has remained relatively stable over the past 28 years within the production range of 400,000 – 600,000 pounds. In 2014, lobster catch landings amounted to 484,891 pounds, which represents a decline of merely 0.45% when compared to the 2013/2014 season when 487,066 pounds was produced.
Some 452,930 pounds of lobster tails was exported this season, mainly to the United States of America. Other lobster exports included 31,840 pounds of lobster head meat, 3,102 pounds of lobster head and 77,911 pounds of whole lobster. The export of lobster tails alone made $13.5 Million in income, more than a million more than last season’s earning of over $12 Million.
Fisheries reports that most of the export product was fished from the northern waters of Belize, while the majority of the product fished in Placencia, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker was consumed as tourism products instead of being exported by the national market.
The lobster season will remain closed until Sunday, June 14th. This time is given to allow lobster populations to breed. As a reminder to fishermen, all lobster fishing gears, including traps, drums and shades must be removed from the sea floor during the closed fishing season.
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