CNH Tours - Cultural and Natural Heritage Tours Galapagos
Saturday February 26, 2011
Lobster season comes to and end
When CNH Tours was living in Galapagos, the fishing wars were in full swing. On more than one occasion we were technically held hostage at the Charles Darwin Research Station / Galapagos National Park Services by mobs of angry fishermen, demanding greater freedoms to fish as much as they wanted. As well, tourists were kept from disembarking by fishermen blockading docking facilities.
These struggles started in the early 1990's when the fishing gold rush started in Galapagos, and really didn't finish until the 2004 of thereabout, essentially after the gold rush of plentiful lobster and sea cucumbers (the most valuable marine resources in Galapagos) had exhausted itself. But all was not in vain, as a pretty good system of fisheries management, including monitoring, was eventually put into place, and is now essentially accepted by the mainstream fishing community. The fly-by-nighters who came just while the pickings were good have left, leaving the real, dedicated fishing types to live off the leftovers, whose numbers we hope are gradually picking up again.
So the press release from the Galapagos National Park this week is really a success story:
In its press release, the Galapagos National Park reported that after five months of operation, Jan. 31 formally marked the end of the red and green spiny lobster fishery . The Director of fisheries management at the park reported that 21.7 tons of red lobster tail and 9.2 green lobster tail had been captured during this season for a total of 30.9 tons. The permitted quota for this season had been set at 30 tons for red lobster, and no limit for the more prolific green lobster. Isabela islanders brought in 50% of this catch, Santa Cruz 30% and San Cristobal 20%.
Only 313 pounds of lobster tails were decommissioned for being too small, or for holding eggs.
23 tons of lobster were exported to the continent and 7 tons remained in Galapagos for local consumption - so relax, the lobster you're eating is legally caught (e.g. and frozen if you're eating it out of season).
As they say in statistics, "It doesn't count unless it can be counted" - and in this case, the Park, by counting lobsters, is able to better manage this important resource.