From the 1st. of March to the 30th of June the capture and marketing of spiny lobster species , Caribbean spiny (Panulirusargus), spotted spiny (Panulirusguttatus), slipper lobster (Scyllaridesaequinoctialis) and Spanish slipper lobster (Parribacusantarcticus) is banned throughout the Dominican Republic’s territory (Decree 119-12 of Law 307-04, issued by President Leonel Fernandez on March 16, 2012). Violating this provision carries penalties that may include a fine of up to US$50,000 and from two to ten years in prison.
Due to over-fishing and a major decrease in the lobster population, the ban was regionally adopted back in 2010 in order to preserve these species. The March 1st through June 30th is the time that lobsters located in the Caribbean and Central America are reproducing, so the ban was purposely put in place to respect the crustaceans’ breeding season. There is also the thought that, in addition to preserving the species, the ban helps to improve its quality for exports. This ensures that we can reset the lobster population for sustainable marketing.
Since March 16, 2012 the Dominican Republic has joined the implementation of the regional fishing and marketing ban of the Caribbean spiny lobster in Central America. This provision has been established for the fourth consecutive year in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic.
Restaurants, fishmongers and supermarkets across the country with mass stock of lobster, live lobsters or in captivity, are obliged to inform the Dominican Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture (CODOPESCA) its existence and suspend the sale 5 days after the official announcement.
We ask for the cooperation of all on supporting the lobster ban, which is very important for the ecological balance of our reef ecosystem. This time of year is essential to ensure the perpetuation of these crustaceans in the environment.