Caribbean Lobsters

Caribbean Lobsters

The Caribbean Spiny Lobster (panuliru) ranges from northern Brazil to southern Florida, including the whole Caribbean Sea and Antilles. These lobsters are served in high-end restaurants in New York City and San Francisco, however, it is a species in distress.

What’s happening to the lobsters?

There are many different nations with jurisdiction over the Caribbean Spiny Lobster populations and the dwindling population is a huge problem for most.

The population reduction is caused by changes in sea temperature, pollution, and the destruction of habitat – all combined with naturally high mortality rates.

Ecological and social implications

The health of the reefs is paramount to ensuring the vitality and health of our oceans. When the reefs start to fail, all species that depend on the reef are at risk.

At a socio-economic level, local fishermen find it hard to support their families. The children, who would have taken over the family business in better times, are forced to move away.

Communities suffer as traditional culture declines, and poverty increases as young people lose their sense of identity.

The effect of falling lobster populations is rarely felt in northern nations. Caribbean communities feel it every day.

Why do restaurants across the globe buy farmed spiny lobsters?

It’s simple: size and quality. There is no discernable difference between the taste of farmed lobsters and wild lobsters.

We harvest the lobsters when they’ve reached the optimum size so the meat is always perfect.

As for quality, our lobster meat is never mushy. With commercial fishing, most lobsters are caught in pots and sometimes the company will not return for many days – causing the lobster to go into starvation mode.

The muscle is metabolized to provide energy to keep the vital functions going, meaning the lobster begins to eat itself from the inside. When a starving lobster is cooked, the tail flesh has a mushy texture because it has begun to be metabolized for energy.

According to restauranteurs, this is a large problem with serving lobster and it counts for substantial loss in profits.

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