The Bahamas catches more spiny lobster than any other country in the Caribbean region and this fishery makes up more than 80 percent of fisheries income in the Bahamas. The fishery is largely based around the use of artificial shelters called ‘condos’ or ‘casitas’. The use of these shelters is controversial: they are banned in the USA but encouraged in other countries. Our research aims to evaluate how these shelters interact with the wider marine ecosystem and what impacts they might have on lobster populations and other marine species.
The Bahamian spiny lobster fishery was recently certified as a sustainable fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council and a key part of this process is understanding how the fishery impacts the wider ecosystem. This project is helping to fill knowledge gaps that will ensure the future sustainability of the fishery.
The Bahamas Spiny Lobster Working Group
Higgs, ND., Newton, J. & Attrill, MA. Caribbean spiny lobster fishery is underpinned by trophic subsidies from chemosynthetic primary production. Current Biology, 26:3393-3398. 2016.
Higgs, ND. Report on the monitoring of lobster fishery impacts on endangered threatened and protected species in The Bahamas. WWF-US, 20 pp. 2016.
Higgs, ND. Report on monitoring of lobster fishery impacts on marine habitats and ecosystems in The Bahamas. WWF-US, 16 pp. 2016.
For more information, contact Nick Higgs.