Belize’s Lobster Season Reopens Today: How To Make The Most Of It

by Carolee Chanona

Lobster lovers, you’ve waited long enough to enjoy this spiny crustacean! Belize’s 2021-2022 Spiny Lobster Season officially opens today, which means fishermen are out right now scouring the seafloor for this Caribbean delicacy. Spiny lobsters in Belize, unlike Maine lobsters in America, lack claws. Instead, their meat is in their tails. Seafood aficionados all agree: Belize’s remarkable bounty is not only delicious, but a precious treasure worth protecting. The country may not be having its annual Lobster Fest to celebrate the opening, but you can make the most out of it in the traditional Placencia, San Pedro and Caye Caulker as menus switch to all-lobster-everything!

Missing Lobster Fest? Do This Instead

Lobster Fest is likely the country’s most popular festival yet. In a typical year, huge block parties, live music, and fragrantly-charred grills combine for a bona fide seafood bacchanal. This year, Belize will observe a new open season for the Spiny Lobster, slated to run from July 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022. While we patiently await for the safe return of Lobster Fest in Belize, we’re taking the love of Lobster to San Pedro, Placencia, and Caye Caulker in a different way with our 2021 Lobster Tour!

Fun Fact: Caye Caulker’s Lobster Fest was Belize’s first, started in July of 1994 by the Islanders Veterans Football Club. 

This year, enjoy lobster crawls in Placencia and San Pedro, meal specials, and even discounted stays at all of your favorites. Find all the deals and schedule of events here.

All About Belizeans’ Love of Lobster

The other way that lobsters are caught in Belize is with traps. Local fishermen carefully make handmade traps as tradition has taught them, bait the traps, and place in a sandy, shallow area. Once a few lobsters have fallen prey, fishers then free dive to retrieve it by pulling it up by line onto their dories or skiffs.

Lobster plays a huge role in the Belizean economy. Believe it or not, almost all the lobster caught in Belize is done by hand using traditional methods. The majority of lobster fisherman do so by free diving to the seafloor. With one deep breath, a long stick with a hook at the end is used to quickly hook the lobster before it can scuttle away. Spiny lobsters tend to love rocky areas, so this is a skill perfected over time. Not to mention, free diving for lobsters allows fishers to be selective about the lobsters that you catch, so there’s less risk of you getting undersized or oversized ones. This way, you are guaranteed to be in accordance with Belize’s fisheries regulations.

Header image courtesy Family Coppola Hideaways/Kevin Quischan Photography

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