Experts Explore Options To Protect Lobsters

April 23, 2004

THE World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced that experts will meet in Panama City next week to discuss methods of protection for spiny lobster populations in the mangroves and coral reefs along the Caribbean coast of Central America, currently threatened by over-fishing.

For many living on the Caribbean coast, according to the organization, lobster fishing provides their only source of income.

“We’re not thinking about eliminating lobster fishing, but rather achieving better management practices, where we can harmonize the criteria of the closed season, the minimum legal capture sizes, the permitted fishing nets and the indicators to estimate and control the effort,” said Moisés Mug, the WWF official in charge of fish for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The most harmed by the fishing of the spiny lobster are the indigenous Garífuna and Misquito tribes living on the Caribbean coast of Honduras and Nicaragua, as authorities said inadequate scuba diving practices have seriously affected their health.

Also, representatives of the organization said, mangroves and coral reefs are suffering the consequences of human interference.

The experts meeting in Panama City will discuss these problems with members of area fishing communities and local fishing authorities, with the goal of obtaining more sustainable fishing practices.

 

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