Members of the Central American Integration System (SICA) agreed to impose the third annual joint temporary ban on capturing the Caribbean spiny lobster in order to protect the species.
Imposed by SICA’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA), the ban includes the region’s entire Caribbean coastline, including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
The Central American ban, announced Wednesday, will be in effect from March 1 through June 30, and is intended to cover the lobster’s main reproductive period.
Altough it is not officially declared an endangered species, scientists suspect species stocks to be under heavy pressure from commercial fishing.
According to OSPESCA, some 60,000 people in Central America are involved in the capture, sale and export of spiny lobster, bringing some $450 million in annual income to the region.
The ban agreement will be signed by Costa Rican Agriculture and Livestock Minister Gloria Abraham, as the country currently presides over SICA.