Volume 68

Portrait of the Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus) Fishery in Puerto Rico during 1998 – 2013

Matos-Caraballo, D., M. Ricaurte-Chica, J. León, and L.A. Rivera
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Date: November, 2015

Pages: 365 - 369

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty eigth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Panama City

Country: Panama


The spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) has been a very important fishery in Puerto Rico since 1970s. However, during the 1950 and early 1960’s this species was used as bait in the fish traps. In Puerto Rico the spiny lobster has been caught mostly by fish trap, trammel net and SCUBA divers. Currently most of the full time commercial fishers in Puerto Rico are SCUBA divers. Their primary target is the queen conch and lobsters, thus both species have been in the top five landed in Puerto Rico since 1988. The Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) has the responsibility of manage the fisheries resources in the Island. The DNER Commercial Fisheries Statistics Program (CFSP) has been collected landings, biostatistical and census data from commercial fisheries since 1968. During 1998 - 2013, an average of 217,441 pounds/year of spiny lobster was reported in Puerto Rico by commercial fishers. The wholesale price represented an average of $1.28 million/yearly. The retail sales of spiny lobster would be estimated in an average of $3.9 million/yearly. The fishing pressure resulted in an overfishing resource. The DNER and NOAA fisheries established fishing measures to avoid the collapse of the fishery. Since 1985, was established a minimum legal size of 3.5 inches carapace length. This paper will show the landings (pounds), effort, price and marketing of spiny lobster during 1998 - 2013.

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