Volume 72

Overcoming the Challenges Facing Spiny Lobster Mariculture In Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Sanders, M.B; A. Joseph; P. Mitchell; I. Tew; A. Kennerley; J. Shephard; M. Stone; S. Ross; D. Minardi; D. Bass; R. Van Aerle; M. Freeman; V. Severieux; L. Benson; R. Arosio; K. Bateman
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 140-142

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus, supports economically important fisheries across the Caribbean. Over the last 20 years, increasing fishing pressure due to increasing demand has raised concerns that the fishery is over exploited and unsustainable. Within the same period, spiny lobster mariculture has expanded rapidly in South-East Asia. However, despite previous studies in the region, productive spiny lobster farming has not widely developed in the Caribbean. In partnership with stakeholders in St. Lucia, this project addresses the challenges facing the establishment of sustainable lobster mariculture in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Based on the ranching methods used to culture spiny lobster in South East Asia this project looks to evaluate if similar approaches could be applied in Caribbean SIDs to support economic development and diversification in the fishing sector. An initial heath screen of lobsters from the existing fishery in St. Lucia, using histological and molecular approaches, found no significant disease issues. The creation of up-to-date habitat maps has provided tools to assist stakeholders, regulators and potential farmers to identify appropriate mariculture sites. Trial deployments of larval collectors around the island have identified locations for collecting a supply of lobster seedstock. Sea-bed culture containers have been constructed and deployed at a test site and data on health, growth, survival and overall costs are being collected. Collectively these data are being used to inform an aqua-economic model developed in this project to assess viability and profitability of small-scale lobster mariculture in SIDS.

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