While many only observe February 14th as the day of love, here in Belize it also marks the closing of the Lobster Season. That’s right, the ability to fish for or indulge in this delectable crustacean closes after Valentine’s Day. The Spiny Lobster is sought out across Belize as one of the top sea-food platters, but in order to ensure generations to come can still enjoy this marine critter, the Belize Government, through the Fisheries Department implements a fishing season to allow our tasty lobsters to re-populate.

Lobster Season Cocktail Pasta Salad-2

 

The Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus) open season runs from midnight of June 14th to midnight of February 14th. After the season closes, any person found in possession of lobsters will be prosecuted in accordance with 3(1)(b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000-2003. During this time, all lobster traps need to be removed from the water, and restaurants need to deplete their lobster inventory within a two week grace period.

02 Honeymooning LobstersThe four month closed season is prime spawning and breeding time for the Spiny Lobster. After hatching it takes up to three years for a lobster to reach full maturity. In Belize it is also illegal to catch berried lobster (with eggs) or undersized lobsters (if they are under 3.5 inches in the carapace length they are still considered juvenile) throughout the year. Penalties for breaking a lobster related law can result in a six month imprisonment or up to a $1,000 in fines.

So take consideration and follow the law. After all it’s only a short four months… and when the season opens up with the Annual Lobster Festivals, there will be loads of lobster for everyone to enjoy!

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About the Author: Janelle Cowo

The youngest member of the My Beautiful Belize family, Janelle loves traveling and experiencing new cultures both within and across the border of Belize. She particularly enjoys history and is an avid Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance reader. What she lacks in stature, Janelle has (and even surpasses) in spirit for adventure. She is willing to try pretty much anything, from daring jumps to new eats. Janelle lives her life according to Mae West quote “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”


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