Alas—like all good things—Lobster Season 2020 in Belize has come to an end. As such, the Belize Fisheries Department informs both fishers and the public that the Spiny Lobster Season officially closes today, February 28, and will remain closed from March 1, until midnight of June 30, 2021. During the closed season, no traps are to be set and no one should consume lobsters products for the next four months. Consequently, no one should have any lobster product in their possession either. Make no mistake: Belize takes sustainability seriously. If someone is caught in possession of lobster during this time, that person can be charged a fine or even possibly face jail time. Here’s how to ensure you’re being a responsible consumer in Belize during the close of lobster season!
Being A Responsible Consumer in Belize
Responsible Fishing PSA from OCEANAbz on Vimeo.
Lobster and conch are Belize’s most lucrative seafood exports. In 2019, Oceana Belize reported the total annual output for commercial fisheries is approximately 30 million dollars. And for generations, Belizean fishers have been exemplary stewards in the management of national fisheries. A testament to this has been fisher support in national efforts at sustainability such as the establishment of marine protected areas and replenishment zones (and their expansion); seasons and quotas for products like lobster and conch; and most recently, the ban of possession and use of gillnets in Belize’s marine territorial seas, Exclusive Economic Zone and internal waters.
Besides ensuring you are not consuming out-of-close-season lobster while in Belize, the Fisheries Department also asks for your help; report any illegal fisheries activity (like serving, possessing, or consuming lobster) to +(501)224-4552 or f[email protected]. Ready to take your commitment to Belizean sustainability one step further? Lookout for the Fish Right Eat Right seal at your next eatery. Since its inception, FRER has worked alongside twenty-two restaurants countrywide that ensures, from sea to plate, their customers are receiving the most sustainably caught seafood possible. Although, Belize’s Queen Conch Season 2020-2021 won’t close until June 30, 2021, so enjoy it while you can!